PETA launched a protest against a New Hampshire winter carnival event billed as a "Greased Pig on Ice," but withdrew it after learning there's no pig in the act—just a man on skates in a pig costume with dollar bills tied to his tail. Steve Smith, an organizer of the 100th Newport Winter Carnival, said PETA launched its alert last week despite his reassurances that no pigs would be harmed. Smith said he received about 100 emails from concerned animal lovers. A PETA rep said Smith did not clarify what the event would entail. She said the updated information is excellent news for the pigs, notes the AP. The group never questioned him before writing a detailed email alert, Smith said; the missive talked about "subjecting these highly sensitive animals to such a chaotic and violent ordeal rife with screaming participants." It also mentioned capturing the pigs and stuffing them into barrels.
"How can they know what we're doing if they never even bothered to ask what we're doing?" Smith said. "If they just asked, 'What are your plans?' I would have told them." Smith said the carnival featured greased pig events in the 1930s and continued off and on until the 1980s. PETA says it receives more complaints about pig wrestling events than it does greased pig competitions. "We've had only one greased pig complaint this year and that turned out to be a hoax," says Stephanie Bell, a director at PETA's cruelty investigations department, referring to Newport's event. She said organizers had "ample opportunity" to say that a pig was not being used. The "Greased Pig on Ice" event will feature Newport resident Glen Halleck in a pig costume, being chased by kids on ice skates on the town common. In the carnival's brochure, the full listing reads thusly: "Put on your skates and see if you can catch him. Prizes. PETA Friendly." (Read more PETA stories.)