Firefighters who boasted about eating the piglets they saved from a blaze six months ago have been forced to apologise after sparking anger online.
Pewsey Fire Station said they recognised the original post, which has since been deleted, “caused offence” and apologised on Wednesday.
It comes following an earlier post this week which featured pictures of firefighters eating sausages with the caption “we got to sample the fruits of our labour”, referencing the 18 piglets saved from a fire in February.
The farmer, Rachel Rivers, dropped off the sausages and the firefighters plugged her produce on their Facebook page.
The animals were rescued from a farm in Wiltshire after a barn caught fire.
The 18 piglets and two sows survived the fire, the BBC reports.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals UK criticised the firefighters’ Facebook post.
Mimi Bekhechi, Peta’s director of international programmes, said: “These poor piglets were no better off for escaping the fire only to be put back into it six months later after being subjected to the horrifying experience of the abattoir.
“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.
“We’ll be sending Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service packs of vegan sausages so that they can see how easy it is to truly be heroes for pigs - by sparing them all suffering.”
Despite the original post being removed, the Pewsey Fire Station Facebook page has seen a lot of angry comments because of the initial images and accompanying status.
Hannah Turnbull commented on the Facebook page:
“The very fact that you were served the exact piglets you ‘rescued’ is an intentional disrespectful and perverse act; if not the case then it would not have been specified that they were the same ones you rescued. Anyone who isn’t an absolute low life would realise that - and the fact that you supported and endorsed it is appalling. Absolute group of losers. Enjoy that you can feel better about yourselves by abusing helpless cattle.”
Holly Rose said:
“You took all the credit for saving them and then happily ate them, knowing they were slaughtered around 6 months old! You ate the baby pigs you held in your arms, honestly you guys are just awful and completely disrespectful posting pics of you cooking their chopped up flesh. You are not heroes, you ate the lives of vulnerable innocent babies”
Meanwhile, others came to the firefighters’ defence and said there was nothing wrong with eating the piglets they saved six months previously.
Kylie Jackson wrote:
“The pigs were not pets. That is the sole purpose of cattle, pigs, and other livestock. Food.”
And Sarah Maskell commented:
“I assume everyone who complained are vegetarians. Regardless these pigs were destined for the food chain and the grateful farmer was just showing her thanks for a job well done by the firefighters in extinguishing her barn fire. It has nothing to do with cheap publicity or bad taste. Most humans eat meat and we are all aware of where it comes from.”