Joni Ernst, a candidate running for Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's seat in Iowa's Senate, released a bizarre campaign ad this week focusing on a very specific skill -- that she has plenty of practice castrating hogs, and that that would somehow translate to cutting spending ("pork") in Washington D.C.
To be expected, the internet set upon the video when it debuted yesterday afternoon, with reactions ranging from laughter to disgust. The quip even landed her on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, who commented, "Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Do you want to do one more take? ... I don't know what she's running for, but just give her the job!"
Many animal advocates oppose castration, because it involves a painful procedure and pain relief is not given. There are several alternatives to pig castration, too. The University of Texas, which conducts research on humane animal husbandry practices, notes that immunocastration, an approach that uses the pig's own immune system to control reproduction, is available in the U.S., and approved in 60 countries around the world.