There is nothing guaranteed to put your school on the map faster than getting involved in a battle over animal rights. At Nova Southeastern law school it was their annual “Kiss the Pig Charitable Fundraiser” that stirred up animal rights activists. Students place money in jars with the professors names on them. The professor who collects the most money then must “kiss a pig” which is a pot bellied pig normally acquired locally for the event.
Instead of defending the five year old event which benefits a local hospital Dean Joe Harbaugh wrote in an e-mail on September 29th that ”I personally observed the animal shivering and moving its head from side to side as it looked [frantically in my judgment] at those gathered all around,” I didn’t realize that Dean Harbaugh had a degree in animal husbandry as well.
That’s not all though. How about this quote? ”I think if you look at this as an issue of helping sick kids or defending a pig’s rights, most people are going to come down on the side of the kids,” said Professor Phyllis Coleman, faculty advisor for the student animal-defense group. “But there are so many other ways to raise money without having to traumatize a live animal.”
All this fuss over something that lasts for a few fleeting seconds? After all if I was the professor I would surely want the kiss to be a quick as possible. To placate the pig defenders there will be a jar for those that don’t want the pig kissed. I don’t see that as getting much support as it takes the fun out of the event.