Columbia County Chapter
As you can see by the article reprinted below, a kind and
dedicated Columbia County resident, Liz Lukowski, and our Joan
Zacharias, have been busy. The article "Vegetarians Save Two Pigs at the
Fair," by Taitia Shelow with John Mason, appeared in the September 4th
issue of Hudson Valley Newspapers. It is reprinted here with permission
of the Hudson Valley Newspapers.
Vegetarians Save Two Pigs At The Fair
Two little piggies from the Columbia County Fair will not be
going to market like the rest of the livestock auctioned off Monday
Right now, in fact, the pigs, named Jen Claire and Mrs. Philly
Cheese Steak, are resting comfortably in their new Red Rock home.
Local vegetarians Liz Lukowski and Joan Zacharias,
vice-president of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, spearheaded an effort by
concerned citizens to save the pigs from slaughter. A monetary donation
from Vegetarian Vision, an international vegetarian advocacy group
based in New York City, enabled them to purchase the pigs for a total
The goal was to save the pigs but not provoke any kind of
confrontation, Lukowski said. While they might not agree with the practice of
selling the livestock for slaughter, the vegetarians support the local
4-Hers who raise them. The 4-H group that raised the pigs was led by
"Our intention is to show that there can be a peaceful end to
a county fair and that pigs as a species do not solely function as
meat," Lukowski said. "It's just an alternative way to have a
The same approach has been used in seafood markets for years,
where lobsters are purchased and carried down the beach, back to the
Lukowski admitted to a case of nerves before the auction, as
she didn't want to provoke any confrontations. But everyone at the
auction treated her courteously, she said. When auction workers asked how the vegetarians wanted their pig cut, they simply said: "Oh no,
we're taking her home."
"Everyone was so kind and really worked with us," Lukowski
Lukowski won the bid for Jen Claire at $1,350, which she
called an "exorbitant" price ? about $5 a pound - but that was because
it was a benefit. When Jen Claire went up for auction, Lukowski said,
Mrs. Philly Cheese Steak began kicking very violently at the pen.
"That was one of the reasons we knew we wanted to get both of
them," Lukowski said. "These two sisters were very attached to each
She then got down in the stall with the pigs, her first time.
"I kind of bonded with them," she said.
The pigs were then successfully transported to their new home,
where they quickly got comfortable with their surroundings before
falling asleep, Lukowski said.
The pigs will remain in the care of Deborah Dickman and Susan
Whissler's sanctuary unless/until they can no longer care for them. If
that happens, the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society will raise care
funds or make an alternate arrangement.
Whissler and Dickman had a hog who died of old age at 1,200
Lukowski said Mrs. Philly Cheese Steak will mostly likely be re-christened.
Addendum by Liz Lukowski: Often, when I visit the pigs, I am
overwhelmed by the fact that these two gals were hours away from death on
that Labor Day weekend. These pigs, like every other living creature,
have a right to be living the fabulous life that they are living. We merely
gave them back what was rightly theirs, that being, "a pig's life."