'Hey, preacher, leave those pigs alone!' vs. 'Keep hoppin' those pigs!'

Pig wrestling!

TBC lacks any correspondent in the Diocese of Green Bay, so here's the story direct from the source.

Can you tell our readers about yourself and the background to this controversy?

"St. Patrick Parish, located in Stephensville, Wis., will be hosting its 44th Annual Roundup Days this coming weekend. Event activities include Mass, dinner, parade, raffles and a live band. As part of these activities is an event called the Pig Rassle."
What is a Pig Rassle?
"Pig wrestling, also known as a rassle or wrasslin', is an event that is held in various places throughout the United States. Individuals or teams are given the task to place a pig at a designated location. The challenge is typically set within a fenced area containing water and mud. The Pig Rassle is not unique to St. Patrick Parish and has taken place for many years at county fairs and other community events."
Wikipedia adds that is "also known as pig scramble[footnote omitted] and with the variants hog wrestling and greased pig catching".

How long has this been going on?

"The Roundup Days have taken place for more than 40 years, and the Pig Rassle has been part of this event for several of those years."
So what about the pigs?
"Consideration is taken to ensure that the pigs are safe and free from any abuse. After consultation with local authorities, it has been determined that there is no illegality associated with this event. St. Patrick Parish does not condone animal abuse."
What source about what's going on in the Church does a Stephensville parish with pig wrestling link to on its website home page?
"NCR (National Catholic Reporter) News".


Nothing at this writing on NCR, but Marshall Connolly put together the case for the prosecution in Catholic parish accused of animal cruelty, remains silent, at Catholic Online (August 7th).

Holly Meyer reported August 8th in the Appleton Post-Crescent that Church holds firm as criticism of pig wrestling builds. This included that Sarah Withrow King, director of Christian Outreach and Engagement for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), wrote to deacon Ken Bilgrien at St. Patrick's that,

"We learned from Jesus that just because something is legal doesn't necessarily make it right."
Not in the article, but on the other hand, there's Matthew 8:32, Mark 5:13 and Luke 8:33.

Before we say "That's all Folks!", we ask that you put any comments in the form of a (late) caption for this Elaine Benes cartoon at The New Yorker. (The magazine's caption contest is closed, so don't post there.)


  1. This story has revealed to me how DISHONEST people can be in social media. In different articles I have heard how they punch, and kick the pigs, and then throw them INTO a bucket where they can break their backs. This is all wrong: There is no punching or kicking. NO breaking backs, and there is NOT even a bucket. The pigs are NOT thrown in buckets. The mud is deep enough that it is even hard to run. If you actually go to the event it is mostly about kids running in mud. So unless you think kids chasing their dog in the front yard is evil, there is nothing wrong with this. Groups with the petition never actually even contacted the parish. They posted Pictures NOT of the event. It is one big dishonest representation of what really happens.

  2. The title of the piece was pure genius! (Even Robin Williams would agree! RIP)


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