Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pigs in Heaven

This cartoon, by cartoonist Liz Climo, depicts three pigs in heaven, quizzing each other on how they arrived there. Each arrived, predictably, via the form of meat by which they were consumed rather than, as is the case with humans, a car accident, heart attack, or old age. Pigs, of course, very rarely die of old age, as Corey Lee Wrenn noted in this posting.

What's also notable about this cartoon is the idea that these pigs, who died after being consumed as bacon or a McRib sandwich, went to heaven. It's not all that unusual to think of animals going to heaven. While it is true that the official position of the Catholic Church is that animals don't have immortal souls and thus can't go to heaven, a great many animal lovers believe that their pets will indeed join them in the afterlife, either in heaven, or in a special pet heaven known as the Rainbow Bridge, made especially for the souls of beloved dogs, cats, and other pets.

But what of the billions of animals killed for food each year? Neither heaven nor the Bridge appear to accept those animals, and both places would be crowded indeed with the souls of all of the dead livestock; just the chickens alone would take up a massive amount of soul space.

So Climo's cartoon is notable for its representation of heaven as an inclusive place, welcoming to all species, which is rare even among animal lovers.

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