End "Kiss the Pig" event at Aranda Primary School fete for good
This petition made change with 572 supporters!
Aranda Primary School are planning to hold a "Kiss the Pig" event at their upcoming fete. This worrying event involves a pig or piglet being held up in front of hundreds of people who are chanting “kiss the pig, kiss the pig", until a teacher or the school principal kisses the restrained, frightened animal.
We urge them to reconsider going ahead with this event for the following reasons:
1. This event endorses a culture of bullying behaviour and peer pressure
As the community becomes more aware of the effects of bullying, schools are rightly implementing procedures to curb anti-social behavior. These procedures must include extending kindness to everyone, including other animals.
The “Kiss the Pig” contest, where a pig or piglet is restrained whilst a crowd chants “Kiss the Pig” teaches children that another person can be bullied into doing something they don’t want to do, if enough peer pressure is applied. It is also quite obviously bullying behavior towards the animal, who would not participate in this willingly – if given the opportunity to leave the situation, the animal would.
2. This event sends very concerning messages around consent
Holding someone down, no matter who they are (but especially if they are vulnerable, as an animal is), whilst someone else kisses them amounts to a demonstration of rape culture. Participating in a sexual act that someone else is not willing to participate in, urged on by peer pressure – this is what the “Kiss the Pig” event is modelling to students. This would be worrying if conducted anywhere, but especially in a school environment, is absolutely unacceptable.
3. This event subjects animals to very distressing situations and teaches children concerning messages about empathy and respect for animals
Pigs and piglets squeal in order to communicate that they are distressed, it is a call they exhibit when in pain or frightened, and it is intended to illicit a response from their mother or companions to come to their aid. They are sentient beings, capable of experiencing fear and pain. Having a crowd of unfamiliar people yelling and jeering at them is objectively frightening for any animal, I can’t imagine any of us would appreciate being put in that situation, and we have the advantage of knowing why it is happening. Choosing to ignore the cries and distress of others because they are different to us is not a great message for kids.
Pigs are incredibly intelligent, loving beings. They make loyal friends and are clever and inquisitive, they enjoy exploring the world and have been known to enjoy listening to music and of course, belly rubs. The “Kiss the Pig” event reduces these complex, intelligent beings to little more than a subject of disdain, ridicule and mockery. Instead of an event that mocks pigs, students could be learning positive lessons about compassion and kindness towards them, in line with Aranda Primary school’s overarching principle of kindness.
We know Aranda Primary School is a place that values KINDNESS to all, including animals. With so many innovative and humane ways to raise funds and have a good time, the school is doing itself and its students a disservice by participating in the “Kiss the Pig” event. We urge you to reconsider going ahead with this event, and perhaps to look into some alternatives that teach students messages that are more inline with the principle of kindness that your school is seeking to operate with.
Pic: Timmy and Tiger piglets at Little Oak Sanctuary.
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