Last weekend’s episode of comedy show Saturday Night Live explored the inherent hypocrisy present in claiming to love animals while continuing to eat them. The “Weekend Update” segment opened with host Colin Jost discussing a rescued pig named “Pigcasso,” who he says has profited greatly from “its” painting skills. Jost welcomes Vaneta and Wylene Starkie (played by actresses Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant, respectively) from (fictitious) meat-delivery service Smokery Farms to comment on the matter.
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“All these amazing animal stories might be heart-warming for y’all, but they’re not great for us meat farmers,” Bryant said. McKinnon chimed in, “That’s right. People going vegan left and right ‘cause the damn internet keeps showing people videos with titles like ‘Pig Teaches Deaf Dog to Bark,’ … you see, every time a cow salutes a veteran, our stocks take a hit.” The pair then explains that their meat products are derived from animals that are “individually stupid and bad.” For the remainder of the segment, the characters point out the intellectual shortcomings of each animal that was killed to create Smokery Farms’ signature meat basket—which all of the actors commented had a distinctly nauseating smell. As a whole, the segment took a comedic approach toward exploring the cognitive dissonance that occurs when people choose to assign intelligence to companion animals such as cats and dogs and ignore the scientifically proven intelligence of farmed animals, such as pigs and cows, in order to justify eating them. As for Pigcasso, the rescued pig currently lives at an animal sanctuary in South Africa which sells Pigcasso’s abstract paintings to fund education programs about factory farming.