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Eliminating the pig wrestling event at the Whitley County 4-H Fair 2015

Editor:

The four values of …
·         Head – giving, working
·         Heart – relating, caring
·         Hands – giving, working
·         Health – being, living
… are not reflected in the Pig Wrestling Event to be held this summer at the Whitley County 4-H Fair.
The 4-H Vision is “a world in which youth and adults learn, grow and work together as catalysts for positive change.” The Pig Wrestling Event does not reflect positive change.
There is a ground swell of media attention decrying pig wrestling events around the country. Our Whitley County 4-H Fair can avoid being swept up in the media blitz and inevitable growing publicity which surrounds the welfare of all participants – be they two-footed or four-footed.
The comments which are being leveled at this event center around the thoughts that pig scrambles (wrestling) teach the wrong lessons. Pig Wrestling teaches our children that it is O.K. to manhandle animals (“Let’s go be mean to pigs!”), to chase them, to scare them, and to hurt them – and it is all in “good fun.” Any veterinarian will tell us that this event causes fear, stress, and undue pain to these docile creatures – and it is clearly abuse.
What alternative events could replace Pig Wrestling? Some suggestions are – human mud wrestling, mud football, bicycle races, art contests, paint ball tag, water gun tag, archery contests, cooking contests – all things that encourage using your talents … not violence.
Our community needs to discuss this topic and take a proactive stance leading the way to eliminate this event from the 2015 Whitley County 4-H Fair. This decision is an opportunity to set an example of compassion and will reflect positively on our Whitley County 4-H Fair.
We are the species with imagination, rationality and moral choice – and that is why we are under an obligation to recognize and respect all living creatures.

Don Sexton
Columbia City, IN

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