Back in February, British firefighters rescued 18 piglets and two sows from a burning barn where more than 60 tons of hay had caught fire. Almost exactly six months later, the Telegraph reports the firefighters reconnected with the pigs—in the form of sausages. After the two-week-old piglets were saved, the farm promised to bring sausages to the firefighters once the animals had been fattened up. Farm manager Rachel Rivers described it to the BBC as a "good way of saying 'thank you.'" According to the Guardian, the firefighters appeared to appreciate the gesture, calling it a chance "to sample the fruits of our labors" and declaring the sausages "fantastic."
"I'm sure vegetarians will hate this," Rivers said of the gift. And she wasn't wrong. Farmers and firefighters alike faced criticism on social media from people who found the situation morbid and cruel. The fire station removed a social media post showing firefighters grilling the sausages and apologized for causing offense. Meanwhile, PETA says the piglets may as well have just died in the fire. But Rivers says firefighters gave the pigs an extra six months, during which she gave them "the best quality of life I could," letting them roam outside and eat organic food. And, at the end of the day, she is running a farm. "We farm, and this is what we do," Rivers says. "You can't keep them as pets."