July 23, 2010 – The agribusiness industry is all too often predicated on devaluing the lives of farm animals for the sake of production and profit. That is why when a fragile six-week-old piglet fell off the back of a transport truck in South Dakota in mid-July, no one noticed, no one cared, and no one went back for her — that is, until Lanore Hahn and her rock ‘n’ roll boyfriend’s concert tour took an unexpected turn. Thanks to Hahn, late last night the tiny piglet, named “Kim Gordon” in honor of the legendary Sonic Youth vocalist and bass player, arrived to a rockstar’s reception at her new home — the Watkins Glen-based New York Shelter of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization.
Lanore had been on the road for a long time touring with her boyfriend’s band (whose signature image, which she designed, and appears on all of their CDs, posters and shirts, is coincidentally a pig) when they strayed off course onto a backcountry highway on their way back to Wisconsin and spotted a little piglet running around in the middle of the road in Mitchell, South Dakota. Confused to see a piglet all alone in the middle of prairieland, with no buildings or farmhouses around, they stopped the car and attempted to catch her. Once she was caught, the compassionate couple placed the baby animal in their vehicle, where she promptly fell into a ten-hour deep sleep.
While the tiny piglet slept, the couple attempted to locate the origins of the exhausted animal. They spoke with people from three different farms farther down the highway, all of whom informed them that there were no pig facilities in the area and they didn’t know where the piglet could have come from. Perplexed even further at this point, Lanore phoned the local animal control authority which sent an officer to speak with her. Given the condition of the piglet, who had severe sunburn over many of the exposed parts of her body and painful road rash on her belly, chin, and back, the animal control officer was the first to surmise that she had fallen off the back of a transport truck. The officer then informed Lanore of a tragic truth: if she handed the baby pig over to authorities, they would most likely shoot the animal. At that moment, Lanore knew she had no other choice but to bring the piglet back with her to Wisconsin.
Back at home, Lanore did everything she could for her new friend — gradually introducing her to more solid foods, treating her wounds with antiseptic lotion daily, and giving her some much-needed T.L.C. While the piglet’s health remains somewhat shaky, she has been improving steadily.
“Unlike the factory farming industry which treated this sweet piglet with callous disregard, our sanctuary staff, volunteers and visitors value her already for the courageous girl that she is,” said Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director Susie Coston. “Her future looks bright: she is well on her way to recovery and will become an ambassador for other factory farm pigs who suffer every day in hot, overcrowded transport trucks on their way to finishing facilities and slaughterhouses across the country. Her life on the road is over, but here, she will always be a rockstar.”
Kim Gordon piglet joins other famous rescued pigs at the New York Shelter who came to Farm Sanctuary under similar circumstances — including Truffles and Terrin, both found wandering interstate highways after falling off transport trucks in Indiana and Ohio respectively.
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