By Marianne MacDonnal, provided by Joachim Heijndermans
Art provided by Leigh Legler
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On Wednesday, February 12th, a day that will never be forgotten by anyone who lived through the Pork Wars, Hammy the pig died.
Hammy was the last naturally born pig before the event that sterilized the entire swine genus (or Sus genus, for you biologists out there). Massive infertility struck pigs of both genders. All pigs, young and old, from pot-belly to Berkshire, were rendered incapable of producing offspring. [Click here to learn more about pigs and their history.] There have been no recorded births of new piglets since then. The cause of this event, nicknamed the Great Crunch, is unknown. Biologists are still unsure how it happened, with plenty of theories being thrown around. Nothing was ever confirmed. But its effects were disastrous for the pig population, and for the next twenty years, it would shape our own culture in dramatic ways.
When we discovered that pigs stopped breeding and our supply of pork would run out someday, we did what we always do in times of crisis. We panicked. The larger meat corporations began stockpiling as many pork products as they could find, driving store prices and stock value up. Pigs became the new oil, which, to clarify for our younger readers, was also once on the verge of running out before the Perseus Space missions to Mars. A better comparison might be pigs as the then equivalent of de eFace®-7SD. [Click here to pre-order yours now.] Prices skyrocketed beyond levels ever seen in food products before, with demand much higher than any company could ever supply. It didn’t take long before the need for pork exploded into a wave of violence.
During the pork riots in the wake of the Great Crunch, also referred to by some as the “bacon-apocalypse,” the pig population dropped even faster with the mass consumption and further stockpiling of edible pork products. Alternatives were found, but studies showed that even wild boars and warthogs were not immune to this sudden infertility. This news came far too late to save them from overzealous hunters under contract by the corporations. The last living wild boar was spotted in Germany, about five years after the Crunch. It was served at the wedding reception of then popular rapper T-zone and his now ex-wife and former celebutante, Kimy Khasfardian, where the animal was only half-eaten before being dumped into the couple’s swimming pool by Kyla Khasfardian, the bride’s sister. [Click here to see the video.]
Hammy, born to a litter of seven piglets from the sow named Gloria, was the only survivor after the Manor pig farm, privately owned by the Richmond family, was raided by men in the employ of Finelands Pork Ltd. The then unnamed piglet managed to hide under a wheelbarrow as the marauders raided the farm and confiscated the two hundred pigs from Manor farm, including all of his siblings, and dragged them away to be slaughtered and processed.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2018 collection.
Marianne MacDonnal is a regular blogger and journalist for London-12. She won the Peabody award for her work on the third Tiananmen square riot and the Gail Simone award for best monthly comic series for Zen Laser. She lives in Soho with her cat Mittens and her dawg® Rowler.
Joachim Heijndermans writes, draws, and paints nearly every waking hour. Originally from the Netherlands, he’s been all over the world, boring people by spouting random trivia. His work has been featured in a number of publications, such as Metaphorosis, Hinnom Magazine, Every Day Fiction, Asymmetry Fiction, Kraxon Magazine, and Gathering Storm Magazine. He’s currently in the midst of completing his first children’s book. You can check out his other work at www.joachimheijndermans.com, or follow him on Twitter:@jheijndermans.
Leigh’s professional title is “illustrator,” but that’s just a nice word for “monster-maker,” in this case. More information about them can be found at http://leighlegler.carbonmade.com/.
“In memoriam: Hammy, the Last Pig on Earth” is © 2018 Joachim Heijndermans
Art accompanying story is © 2018 Leigh Legler