Saving cute animals on the Range by eating delicious ones

The Iron Range of northern Minnesota is the kind of place where people are capable of loving animals and eating animals with similar fervor. If push comes to shove, we’ll eat an animal we love. We might even name an animal we plan to eat, if only to have something interesting to write on the FoodSaver label (1 lb., ground “Earl”). Don’t get me wrong, we might feel bad about it. We bury that deep down in the Mommy/Daddy issues pit of our soul and move on with our day.

I use this as a lead-in for a post about loving animals on the Iron Range. But as you’ll see, context matters.

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Over in Virginia, MN, folks with the Mesabi Humane Society have been advertising a major fundraiser dinner Sept. 13 at the Sawmill Saloon. It’s called … well, see for yourself:

Pig Swig & Jig. The only way to save animals is to eat their fellow quadrupeds. And it’s not like squashing bugs, mind you. Pigs are at least as intelligent as dogs or cats. They have the unfortunate distinction, however, of being much more delicious than dogs or cats, and so these are the numbers they’ve drawn.

Meantime, in Hibbing, Range Regional Animal Rescue is planning a slightly different event, the 1st Annual Rover Ramble. It is described as follows:

Range Regional Animal Rescue invites you to participate in the 1st Annual Rover Ramble! The event will be held at Vic Power Park on Saturday, September 21st starting at 9 a.m. All proceeds go toward supporting the on-going efforts to save, shelter, and rehome the abandoned, unwanted, neglected or surrendered pets in our area. … Contact Lisa Ellich at with any questions.

Straight-forward, with the exception of that new verb “rehome.” Somewhere there’s a pig looking at a newspaper on the floor of a feedlot wishing he had thumbs and a Sharpie so he could red pen that one. Or the key to the gate. “Damn, what I wouldn’t do for the key to the everloving gate.

Either way, these remain opportunities to support animals in a place where a little love goes a long way.

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