From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pigs: The good, the bad, and the sacred

Seems like pigs are getting tired of waiting for big bad wolves (or humans) to strike at them, and have therefore adopted this rather militaristic strategy:  the best defense is an offense. reports that a 260-pound wild boar injured four people within a suburb of Berlin, Germany this week.  The boar had apparently been previously hit by a motor vehicle.  Its front leg was fractured, and injured animals have been known to become aggressive.  Texas, too, has had its share of hogs-gone-wild.  Chester Moore, Jr. of The Port Arthur News explains that there's many a sagebrush story about some "hate-fueled hog that tore apart some unsuspecting hunter traversing its territory."

Lest the three little pigs (and all their friends and relatives) suddenly seem badder than bad, The New York Times points out some of their more redeeming qualities.  In her article "Pigs Prove to Be Smart, If Not Vain," Natalie Angier extols their cognitive skills.  For one thing, "pigs are among the quickest of animals to learn a new routine."  Their repertoire includes such feats as opening/closing cages and playing videogames with joysticks (as in "Wii, Wii" all the way home).  Not only that, they are very slow to forget.  Plus, they're quite sociable.

In fact, a number of religions have looked upon pigs as way more than bacon.  Wikipedia explains that the
Nordic goddess Freyr had a golden boar whose "shining fur is said to fill the sky, trees, and sea with light."  The Third Avatar of the Hindu Godhead Vishnu manifested as a boar (Varaha) that "carried the Earth out of the ocean between its tusks and restored it to its place in the universe."  The Buddhist goddess Marici is depicted "riding a fiery chariot pulled by seven savage boars or sows."


Copyright November 2, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved 

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