Even folks who were living under a rock last year probably heard about “Monster Pig”. You know, the half-ton pork chop (AKA “Fred”) on the hoof that was killed by young Jamison Stone with a Smith and Wesson .500 (after umpteen shots)… Alabama’s answer to Hogzilla? You also probably remember the big to-do about really nothing, as it turned out that the kid was hunting inside a little enclosure, and the pig had left the comfort of its farmyard only days before.
Like most of the world, I turned my back on this one almost as fast as it came up. I was shocked that it generated the publicity it did, but I attributed that mostly to a sensation-starved but hunting-ignorant public. I figured it was over, but today; as I was reading over on Kevin Paulson’s Hunting Life blog, I learned that the story is far from over. Like poor old Fred, running around that 150 acre pen with at least eight 50-caliber slugs in it for over three hours, it just refuses to die!
Anyway, Kevin was able to talk to Rhonda Shearer, a journalistic ethics advocate who has been following this story since it broke. She allowed him to republish the article she wrote for ESPN and her own site. I’ll let you go on over to Kevin’s site and read about it, or you can read it directly from Ms Shearer’s site at StinkyJournalism.org.
It’s pretty enlightening stuff, all about greed and how a few unscrupulous characters manipulated the media in order to generate a guaranteed headline story. Unfortunately, their plan misfired, resulting in international criticism and the derision of hunters and anti-hunters alike. But worse, it has also apparently resulted in the boy, 11 years old at the time, facing possible criminal charges for animal cruelty.
It raises the same question for me as it apparently does for Shearer… is the boy to blame, or is he as much a victim as “Fred” the hog? Go over and have a read. Then drop your two cents in the bucket with everyone else.