According to the two-star Michelin chef Michel Roux Jr. "happy pigs" make better bacon. And in case you're one of those who take bacon lightly, think twice. There's actually real science involved in the "art" of making bacon tasting so freaking good!
Interestingly, there's a respectable amount of people who also think that pigs make good pets, but I personally don't see how one can be "friends" with someone they will eventually want to slaughter and devour. Am I wrong here?
Historically, however, people were not always fond of pigs. More particularly, in Medieval France pigs were as unpopular as it gets. They were so disliked that many of them were sentenced to death for one reason or another. Can you believe that? I couldn't either!
The Menu of the Day
During my law studies I learned a lot of interesting things. Especially History of Law (or Legal History to some) taught me a few things about some of the most bizarre laws ever, which may sound crazy to us today but were once a trend. One such legal trend was the animal trial.
Nowadays, non-humans won't be held culpable for a penalized act, simply because they lack moral agency! Funnily, that wasn't always the case. From the thirteenth century until the eighteenth, animal trials became a thing in all over Europe.
Many animals were found guilty during those centuries with some of the most notable cases including pigs. In France they took the whole thing so seriously that they would even hire a lawyer in order to defend the accused animal. Crazy stuff !!!!
The very first case is mentioned in Edward Payson Evans’s book The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals, when a pig was accused in 1266 for attacking and eating a person. The "ruthless" pig was sentenced by the monks of Sainte-Geneviève (in France) to death by burning like a witch.
In the most notable case of all, a pig in France was found guilty and condemned to death by public hanging, after attacking and killing a toddler. The remaining general receipt from that trial – which took place on January 9, 1386 – grants payment of ten sous and ten deniers to the kid's family, and mentions among other things:
"For his efforts and salary for having dragged and then hanged at the [place of] Justice in Falaise a sow of approximately three years of age who had eaten the face of the child of Jonnet le Macon, who was in his crib & who was approximately three months old, in such a way that the said infant died from [the injuries], and [an additional] ten s. tournoise for a new glove when the Hangman performed the said execution: this receipt is given to Regnaud Rigaut, Vicomte de Falaise; the Hangman declares that he is well satisfied with this sum and that he makes no further claims on the King our Sire and the said Vicomte."
The Female Pig With the Bad Mouth
From Evans’s book The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals, we also learn about another interesting case including a female pig that was executed for blasphemy.
In 1394, the citizens of Mortaign, France (AGAIN), witnessed the public death penalty of a naughty female pig that wandered into the local church, where she created a little chaos. Eventually, she was "arrested" by the local authorities and was put on trial, where she was found guilty of blasphemy and later hanged for her "sins."