I didn’t know what I was looking at when I first saw the picture in the newspaper this morning but Steven explained to me that this is the winning pig from the yearly Pig God contest held here in Taiwan. If you look closely you will see the ears and the snout. The grey line is decorative paint for the pig.
The winning pig this year is 896 kilos, or 1975 pounds. This is almost 1 ton. No, pigs are not naturally that large in Taiwan, they are force fed for this special event.
The 2003 winning pig, ©2003 BBC
This is both sad and funny at the same time. As you can see in the picture above these pigs are too fat to even walk. Their legs are these tiny stumps that stick out their side and don’t even touch the ground when the pig lies on its tummy. How does a pig get this big? They pen the pig up so that it cannot move for two years and force feed them.
The farmers have to roll the pig to the scales to weigh it to see which one wins. After a pig is weighed it then has its throat cut in front of everyone attending. This is a religious ceremony carried out by Hakkas here in Taiwan, an old religion that has 4 million followers.