First in a series, in which I will eventually work in wombats, the bathrooms in McDonald's and the Reduced Shakespeare Company in London.
The Bearded Pig is persecuted by farmers. The London Zoo is quite specific in this declaration: The Bearded Pig is persecuted by farmers because of crop destruction. Those farmers likely have a different spin on what is going on in the majority of Pig/Agrarian Worker encounters, but their view is not represented at the zoo.
Nor is the pig’s view represented, come to think of it. Were we to plumb the depths of porcine thought, we would likely hear an interior monologue dedicated to food and defecation -- rather like NYC performance art. I have not studied the matter closely, but I would be surprised to learn that the legal concept of property rights has reached full development among pigs, bearded or otherwise.
The view which is represented is that of the animal caregivers, a group prone to overidentification and anthropomorphism. When we were at school, we read stories of Billy Bass and Sammy Squirrel -- typical representatives of their species -- who thought in complete sentences and had deep feelings subtly expressed. The zoo staff is that percentage of us who still believe this.
Saving species from extinction is a good thing, and we should try to do it. But all the bearded pigs who ever lived are not worth one farmer.