Sunday, March 26, 2023

Meet The “Therapy Pig” Causing A Stir At San Francisco Airport

When pigs fly? This one gets pretty close. Meet LiLou, the newest addition to San Francisco International Airport.

She’s a therapy pig, part of the airport’s Wag Brigade, according to Mercury News, alongside 300 cats, dogs and rabbits that make flying less stressful for travelers passing through. They’re certified Assisted Therapy animals, trained to be super-soothing and sweet, and given signs that say “Pet me!” What a great gig.

They’re documenting LiLou’s adventures at the airport on SFO’s Twitter account, showing her doing tricks for the crowd and owning the place in her blue tutu. Pigs are super smart and are social animals. With a little training, the role is a natural fit. 

LiLou is the first therapy pig, however, and causing a minor controversy: Animal rights activists are demanding that the airport restaurants stop serving pork. PETA’s plea to SFO states:

“Like LiLou, pigs are extremely good-natured, playful, affectionate, sensitive, social, and smart. Yet the ones used for food are confined to filthy warehouses, their tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated—often without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they scream as they’re hung upside down and bled to death, often while they’re still conscious.”

They’re planning to urge travelers against eating meat with new ads places around the airport. LiLou, in her blue tutu and painted nails, didn’t intend to become a poster pig for going vegan, but it’s a targeted advertising campaign that’s likely to land close to home.

[h/t Mercury News]

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