Size Does Matter at Controversial Pigs of God Festival

Pigs of God is a controversial Taiwanese festival and contest where pigs that have been force-fed for years are publicly slaughtered, then put on floats and paraded through the city streets.

The origins of this gruesome event aren’t very clear, but while some say it’s part of the religious beliefs of the Hakkas, an ethnic group with a population of over four million in Taiwan, animal rights activists claim that in the last few decades it has become a simple meaningless contest used by families to show off their wealth and power. They are currently fighting for the banning of a clear form of animal cruelty, and the substitution of real pigs with ones made of dough, rice or flowers.

Getting a pig ready to enter the Pigs of God festival takes up to two years. During this period of time animals are constantly force-fed to a point where they are incapable of standing. This kind of procedure is both psychologically and physically damaging to the pigs, who often suffer from organ failure and pressure sores caused by lying down for long periods of time. Some owners castrate the pigs without anesthesia, in the belief this will help them get even fatter, and then pen them down so they cannot move.

Photo via Craig Ferguson Images

Days before the Pigs of God contest, the animals are reportedly force-fed sand and heavy metals like led, to make them as heavy as possible. On the day of the festival, they are brutally dragged in front of a huge crowd, onto a scale, before having their throats slit. The animals are terrified, they scream loudly and some of them can’t even control their bowls, but this never seems to impress the public, who returns every year to Shanhsia, New Taipei City, to watch this twisted spectacle. After they’ve been killed, the fattest pigs are painted, put up on colorful floats and paraded around the city. The pigs often exceed 700 kilograms in weight, and there have been reports of some weighing around 900 kilos, which is just disturbing…

The funny thing is, force-feeding of animals and slaughtering them in public are illegal in Taiwan, but animal rights activists say the government is unwilling to do anything about what happens at the Pigs of God festival, for fear of backlash from numerous religious groups who claim it’s part of their cultural heritage.








Above photos via Forumosa




Feedback (15 Comments)

  • PMJ Posted on February 20, 2011

    This is just awful. I know the Chinese are a heartless & cruel race, but this is just astonishingly cruel.

  • Alexa512 Posted on March 16, 2011


  • Maria Posted on April 16, 2011

    Pigs of God Festival !!!!!!!!!!!!
    Unbelievable !!!!!!!! Horrible !!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am shocked !!!!!!!!

  • manoj kumar Posted on September 20, 2011

    wow wonderful Images. I like it.

  • SF Posted on September 29, 2011

    And of course, those who have no knowledge of culture of grouping an entirely DIFFERENT cultural group to the entirety of Chinese people (ie. PMJ). Perhaps if you searched “Hakka” in Google, you might be able to learn something. And of course not to forget these brilliant comments from people who have no concept regarding the difference between an entire continent of 5000 years plus of various cultures and this less 100 years “animal rights” developed by you supposed “civilized West.” Go read a book.

  • aDummy Posted on September 30, 2011

    @SF Yes…but arguing over the internet won’t change anything.

  • Rachel Posted on December 11, 2011

    SF – some cultural traditions simply must change. For eg. they don’t throw Christians to the lions anymore. What a naive and ignorant person you are to make such a comment.

  • chris63 Posted on January 28, 2012

    thats disgusting, i never thought taiwanese people could be so cruel

  • plancton Posted on January 30, 2012

    only a truly sick psychopath God would aprove of this