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Media

  Meet Chris P. Bacon, the coolest little disabled pig on the block. See, Mr. Bacon was born without the use of his hind legs, so he was given this genius little contraption to get him around and moving again, and get him going on his way with a little wheelchair cart to explore the world!   The pig’s previous owners had taken him to the veterinarian in Florida to put him down, since they just kind of assumed that there wouldn’t be anything they could do and there was no way to allow the pig to live a positive, healthy quality of life with only his two front legs.  
  I’m no biker, but bikes are badass. Or, I guess I should say, hogs are bad ass – since that’s what bikers, and specifically Harley Davidson riders, call their bikes. There’s an owner’s group out there now called the Harley Owner’s Group (get it? HOG?), but even before that, I wondered why Harleys were called hogs. So, I looked it up!   It turns out that down south back in the 1920s and for several decades, Harley Davidson teams of racers had mascots to cheer them along, and one (or maybe more?) of the successful teams had hog and pig mascots. They figured that the bikes and the hogs both had a workman-like, endearing quality to them, and they forever became linked. The racing teams called themselves the hogs as an homage to their hog mascot, and they considered themselves to be linked from it.  
  Ok, maybe not because you are poor, per se, but NPR has a fascinating new article up recently about how evolutionary biologists have determined that people are more likely to pig out – i.e., gain weight – over time during two major periods: recessions, and winter time.   It makes sense when you think about it (and you can read more about it here on NPR’s website), but basically, it all comes down to scarcity. When food and other resources are scarcer, or at the very least when they are perceived to be scarcer, they come up more likely that you will use them to ensure that you survive.  
  Big news on the farm around the country is the issues with antibiotic usage - and now resistance to antibiotics by diseases - by pig farmers all around the country. While pig farmers have been feeding antibiotics to their pigs for years now, just in the last few years the United States and the FDA have come down with some pretty stringent guidelines on antibiotics in animals and for animal food.   Antibiotics, after all, make the pigs ward off disease when they are young and vulnerable, and allow farmers to see to it that they have a clean crop each year and a good set of pigs from which to choose. Plus, antibiotics help the older pigs grow faster on less feed, accounting for more profits and a better profit margin than what had been previously used decades before.  

  If you’ve been living under a rock, or you’re not as big a fan of pigs as I am (ha!), you may not know about Cochon 555, a kind of new foodie rock & roll paradise that is dedicated to being a traveling circus of sorts. It prides itself on sustainability, and being a “locavore” event for people who love eating, spending, and shopping locally, as well as a cooking contest and a wine tasting event for those who just love food and drink.   Oh, yeah. And the pigs.  

 

  When it comes to famous mascots and amazing crowd support and fandom, few sports can match the intensity of the National Football League. After all, you had Barrel Man in Denver, the famous firefighter who rooted on the New York Jets loyally, and countless other supporters and fans across the country pushing their teams to victory week in, and week out.   But few fans really came up with as original and, ahem, as unforgettable work in their support as those of the Washington Redskins. I'm of course talking about The Hogettes, a group of middle-aged men who liked to dress up as women, in flowery, colorful dresses, with pig snouts on their noses. They loyally cheered at each and every Redskins home game, and even their fair share of road games over time on their way to being, well, unforgettable in the minds of most Redskins fans.  
  We know therapy dogs work in a variety of situations. You saw them in Newtown after the tragic shooting last month, helping victims and families cope and get through the emotional toil with a new furry, four-legged friend.   You see therapy dogs with soldiers, working to promote their mental and physical health as they get back from Afghanistan or Iraq, and work to improve their lives as they re-acclimate to civilian society.  
  Gordon Ramsay is at it again, and this time, he is feuding (again) with Mario Batali and his business partner April Bloomfield. Back in 2004, Batali and Bloomfield opened up a restaurant called the Spotted Pig in New York's West Village, and ever since then it has been an extremely solid and high quality restaurant and New York eatery.   With stars in the Michelin guide, stars dining in the restaurant, and great food and dishes prepared by world-class chefs, it's one of the more famous restaurants in New York, and certainly one that every other celebrity chef would know about.  

  Well, it's official. In case you had ever wondered (and you KNOW I did!), Iowa has the largest pig and hog inventory in the United States. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Iowa has a whopping 20.6 million pigs and hogs on farms this year, as of December 1st.   And the population is rising! That's a three percent increase in pigs and hogs relative to last year. Believe it or not, our nearby neighbors to the north of me in Georgia have the second most pigs: North Carolina comes in with more than nine million pigs and hogs of their own, though that's less than half of the number one state in Iowa.  
There's a cool YouTube video out right now with a pig saving a baby goat from drowning, believe it or not. In the video, the pig saves a goat whose foot had become stuck at this underwater petting zoo.     I didn't know underwater petting zoos exist, of course, but I guess pretty much everything exists nowadays, so I don't know why I should be surprised...   Anyways, a YouTube user uploaded the video in September, and immediately it got a lot of play because, well, it's just amazing. When you watch the video, I've got to say I am really impressed with how it all worked out and what came from it - it is definitely cool and touching to see that little pig swim over and save the goat from maybe drowning or at least being stuck for quite some time.