Bonnie, a 30 pound baby Berkshire pig, received a pardon from Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on Friday, in front of the governor’s mansion in Des Moines. The occasion for this first pardon of a pig, came as part of the opening ceremonies, reports the Washington Post on Saturday, Feb. 9, of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival.
The one-day festival moved on to spread across the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday, but if you are thinking of attending, think again. Tickets sold out within four minutes after they went online, and some 8,000 attendees are expected.
And since 8,000 people will consume more than 10,000 pounds of bacon – that comes to quite a bit more than one BLT for each patron. Presumably some of that meat will be lugged home for sharing and for later consumption. Unless some will be glazed with a heavy coat of brown sugar – a popular dish at some county fairs.
But Bonnie will be part of the festivities – just not the part where she gets smoked and sliced and fried. No, the black and white pig will be the first of a probable long line of porkers who spend the rest of their lives as barnyard pets.
Meanwhile, Governor Branstad is feeling good about the whole pig-pardoning thing. He says he’s pardoned Thanksgiving turkeys before, but never a pig. This could open a whole new venue for animal photo-ops before livestock auctions and other such events. Iowa may never be the same.