A British farm manager thanked firefighters for saving her litter of pigs from a barn fire by gifting sausage made from the pigs to the local fire department six months later.
About 66 tons of hay caught fire in farmer Canon Gerald Osbourne’s barn in February due to an electrical glitch. Firefighters responding to the blaze rescued two sows and 18 piglets that were trapped in the barn, the BBC reported.
Farm manager Rachel Rivers repaid the first responders with meat from the animals they saved.
“I’m sure vegetarians will hate this,” Rivers told the BBC.
Osbourne called the eventual consumption of the pigs, “inevitable.”
“I gave those animals the best quality of life I could ever give until the time they go to slaughter and they go into the food chain,” Rivers told the BBC. “You do feel sad at the end of it … but to bring them down for [the firefighters] was a good way of saying ‘thank you’.”
The Pewsey firefighters praised the sausages in a statement obtained by The Guardian.
“Exactly six months and one day since firefighters rescued 18 piglets from a fire, we got to sample the fruits of our labours from that February night,” the statement read. “Huge thank you to Rachel Rivers for dropping them off for us to sample. Highly recommended by Pewsey fire station crew and if any one of our followers is having a bank holiday bbq this weekend then check out these sausages, they are fantastic.”
Some criticized the farm and fire station for killing and eating the farm animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) compared the piglets to dogs and children.
“What if these firefighters had ‘saved’ a human child or a dog? Pigs feel fear and pain in just the same way as they do,” PETA’s statement said. “When the emergency services rescue animals, PETA thanks them with vegan chocolates, not the animals’ barbecued flesh.”
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