I have two angles on this story:
Two days after naming its mascot “PorkChop,” the Philadelphia Phillies’ new Triple-A affiliate abruptly dropped the moniker after receiving complaints from Hispanics that it was offensive.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, whose mascot is a large, furry pig, had selected PorkChop from more than 7,300 fan submissions. The team, which begins play in 2008, announced Monday that the mascot will be named “Ferrous” instead.
I had no idea of the derogatory implication. I don’t have an opinion on changing it in response to complaints, other than to say it’s probably the smartest business decision. I also think that Ferrous is a better, if not particularly original, name for a mascot. And it permits this kind of sticky-sweet blech:
Ferrous can be described as a portly, affable IronPig wearing the IronPigs home uniform and jersey number 26 – the atomic number for Iron (Fe).
My second point is to remember how complaints about vegans typically accuse us of irrationally anthropomorphizing animals. Um, no. That’s what omnivores do.
But PorkChop? Seriously? Who looks at an animated pig, a walking, jersey-wearing mascot created to interact with children, and thinks “Mmmmmm, you’re so awesome, you remind me of dinner, your name shall be…PorkChop!”?
Post Script: I still love the name IronPigs.