Mypigmeup | The Pig Pen
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The Pig Pen

  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.  

  Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, believe it or not, but don’t worry, fellas! If you’ve got a girlfriend (and if she’s anything like me!), chances are she wants two things for the special day: a set of nice, beautiful roses, and something tasty to eat. Well… what if I told you that there was a way that you could give her both of those things at once? And no, I’m not talking about having her eat the roses, silly…   I’m of course talking about a BACON BOUQUET! That’s right – a bouquet of what looks like roses, but instead of being actual flowers and plants, well, it’s bacon! What’s not to love about that?  

 

  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.  
  In a weird and unfortunate story last week from the United Kingdom, three people have been arrested for what police say is leaving a pig's head outside a center used by Muslims in Leicester. Sadly, this sort of thing for attention (or to intimidate the group in question) is really nothing new, both in England and the United States.   The pig, of course, is offensive to Muslims since in their religion they consider it unclean, and they are not allowed to eat pork. So, naturally, finding a pig head is a pretty clear symbol and sign of offense, disrespect, and hate.   The Muslim center in that area is apparently considering a move into a new neighborhood, but there have unfortunately been a great deal of protests in the English neighborhood, and by the British National Party against the move and against opening a new center in general.  
Here's a cool music video we found about pigs, and their treatment, called Who Ya Callin Pigs? It's kind of a cool and funny video where pigs are "protesting" their treatment and name, and it's all about getting people to love pigs a little more.     The video and lyrics have a more serious side, though, too; they are a call to attention on pigs and their treatment when used for food in things like bacon and pork by the major food production industries, and by restaurants and corporations around the country.