For children
In the past, a butcher had a pig's head and wore no pants, just a white jacket and hat. In his hand he had a chopping knife he used to chop his wife and kids into little pieces which you could buy to make meatballs from. The butcher was a cheerful person.
He was the smiling pig. Sometimes there was a picture or sculpture of himself in the butcher shop window. A smaller version of him was also smiling on the counter, and in ads in the paper, with a large basket on his little arm, that held so many sausages that they spilled over the rim.
Pigs can't wait to be turned into sausages, that's why the pig-butcher's always grinning in the butcher shop, and he likes to be near sausages early on.
In the olden days adults told young children they had to eat plenty of bacon, because it would make them strong. Then they would pinch the child in the upper arm or buttock and they would laugh. They liked doing that, the old farts.
It's not true that spinach makes you strong, and it's also untrue that you have to eat bacon if you want to become a racing cyclist. We've found out that eating a lot of meat is not good, but actually bad for people. And we've found out that pigs have no fun at all. They get a short training to become sausages in a dark prison where they breathe the fumes of their own urine.
They never go outside and they only get one type of food, that also contains medication.
That's why many people no longer want to eat meat. And no chicken either, because it's just as bad for chickens.
That's why butchers no longer advertise with drawings of laughing pigs, and they have stopped putting statuettes of themselves - pig's head, pantless - in their shop windows. That was before, that's over. Oh yeah? Think so?
Heck no, the mentally handicapped smiling pig is back in the commercials. Complete with its hat and apron, or wearing nothing at all. The pig's name is Evert, he's totally cross-eyed, sticks his tongue out of his crazy mouth sometimes, and is meant for children. He's on the internet site www.pvekids.nl.
This site was thought up by the Product Group for (lots of) Meat and Eggs (PVE).
This site wants to teach children that eating an enormous lot of meat will make you enormously strong. And how you can make a slice of sausage look like a face. We've gone back into the past.
     
Written by Wouter Klootwijk, translated by Lia Belt.
This article (reproduced with permission of the author) appeared in the Dutch Volkskrant - section Volkskeuken on 11th May 2000.