THE BOOK OF THE PIG by Jack Denton Scott


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Scott and Sweet succeed impressively in projecting pigs as endearing, intelligent, affectionate, cooperative, clean by nature, and even prudent eaters. Were it not for the rundown, toward the end, of different breeds and their qualities, one might almost forget that these cute animals are not being raised as pets. We open to photos of pigs routing in a flowery meadow. These pigs' owners, we're told, ""do not treat their animals as so many pounds of pork, the way the five-billion-dollar agri-industry does, raising thousands of pigs at a time""; however, ""they do admit that mass production is necessary."" Except for one neutral view of a modern pig barn, the other photos show pigs interacting companionably with people or freely wallowing, roaming, courting, and eating on grass, mud, or small-town streets. One is seen on an old woman's front porch, accepting a hand-out. Scott ends with a paean: ""Pig is a beautiful word. . . . Pigs are pleasing. . . . The earth would be poorer in so many ways without them."" They are also, after Orwell, ""more equal"" than other animals. Most readers will probably find these piglets lovable and the whole idyllic view of their lives delightful. However, one might question the point of endowing our sausage material with such a lovable image.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1981
Publisher: Putnam