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Kenly Hog Killing Has Animal Rights Activists Up In Arms

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KENLY, N.C. — A small town reliving part of its past got some animal rights advocates fired up this weekend.

Saturday morning, a museum in Kenly hosted an old-fashioned hog killing, which was open to the public.

The event was not about survival, but a demonstration for those who've only heard tales of the tradition on their grandparent's knee.

The killing wasn't done the way big company slaughterhouses do it. It was done the way farm families used to do it throughout eastern North Carolina during a time when they couldn't just go to the store when they needed meat and barely could afford many other necessary provisions.

Those families would shoot the pig, scald it and then pick the hair off - not for spectacle, but out of need.

Many people in Kenly thought Saturday's hog-killing was a good historical and cultural lesson. The staff of the Tobacco Farm Life Museum videotaped Saturday's event and will keep artifacts for displays inside the museum.

There were no animal-rights protestors at Saturday's event. But news of the event attracted attention.

"Yes, hog killings are part of our culture," said Robin Rogers, president of Animal Kind. "But I do not see a need to glorify them.

"To make it a public spectacle is a travesty."

Similar phone calls and e-mails came into the museum office this week. Curator Harold Jacobson said the event was all about preserving history.

"They just wanted to make sure that we weren't doing this as some kind of public spectacle or as a money-raising event or anything like that," Jacobson said.

"You see, this is an education for a whole lot of people."

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