The therapy pig that shall not be named Bacon

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Bacon, a therapy pig employed at the Turnagain Social Club in Anchorage, Alaska
Bacon the therapy pig provides a sensory experience for members of the Turnagain Social Club affected by Alzheimer's disease.

What’s in a name? If it’s bacon, apparently “mass slaughter of sensitive pigs,” according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The group recently launched a petition asking a senior center in Anchorage, Alaska, to rename Bacon, the center’s therapy pig.

The Turnagain Social Club, which specializes in Alzheimer’s care, enlisted Bacon to provide companionship and comfort to individuals diagnosed with the disease. The pig provides a sensory experience for club members and serves as a vacuum cleaner, according to the Korren Mateaki, president of the Turnagain Social Club.

PETA applauded Bacon’s role helping people with Alzheimer’s disease, but the group took exception to her name. They suggested a new, less-offensive moniker, like Petunia.

“The Turnagain Social Club has seen firsthand how good-natured, playful, affectionate, sensitive and social pigs can be,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. “PETA is encouraging a more loving and respectful name for this beloved therapy pig.”

The group also encouraged the center to serve alternatives to bacon, ham and other pork products and offered to provide the center with vegan ham slices, veggie dogs and cruelty-free bacon – free of charge.

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