16 Jan 2019, 3:39 a.m. | Works
Let’s give the pigs a break in the year of the pig.
As you may know, it will soon be Chinese New Year, to mark the year of the pig.
In Asia, it hasn’t been a happy time for pigs. There’s a dangerous virus going around, and a huge number of pigs have been culled in recent weeks to stop the spread of the virus in China.
So to wish the pigs a happy new year would be way too sarcastic.
When I was thinking of this I was reminded of the Zhongyuan festival (中元節), also called the “hungry ghost festival”, which takes place in August. People believe that on that day, hell will open and ghosts will come out and have a feeding frenzy. So as a offering to the ghosts, people prepare pigs — their skin gets stretched and is decorated. It’s easier to show than to describe, so take a look here. These are black pigs who have been shaved to create a certain pattern, and there’s always a pineapple in the mouth. The ghosts eat the pig, and leave people alone.
Anyhow, that’s all way too grim for what’s happening with pigs right now.
So I thought: how about this time we don’t kill pigs, let it just eat a pineapple instead, and stay happy and alive? Wouldn’t that be great?