Wild Boar to Baconfest: Pigs in History and Popular Culture

A Road Scholar Program by Cynthia a. Clampitt

Pig Boar

Aug 30, 2023


Kewanee Public Library
102 S Tremont St
Kewanee, IL 61443


Open to the public

In this lecture, Cynthia Clampitt presents the history of pigs and pork to examine the impact these animals had worldwide. Clampitt will focus on the Midwest, including why poet Carl Sandburg would call Chicago “Hog Butcher for the World.”

Pigs were the first food animals to be domesticated, so their history with humans dates back more than 12,000 years. However, antiquity is just one of the reasons why pork is the most eaten meat in the world. This odd, paradoxical animal offers a great range of advantages when it comes to feeding large populations—especially urban populations—though, historically, it has also offered several disadvantages. Once pigs were introduced to the Americas, they became an almost instant success, raised by settlers but also valued by Native Americans. As the Midwest opened, pigs moved west and numbers grew rapidly. From Cincinnati, known in the early 1800s as Porkoplis, the center of pork culture moved to Chicago.

Pigs offer culinary delight and potential medical advances, but also create some challenges. Join Clampitt in exploring the topic of pigs, which is as far-ranging as pigs themselves.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Kit Layman at laymank@kewaneelibrary.org.


We follow all current recommendations set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Henry County Health Department.

Learn more about Cynthia Clampitt, this program, and how to book it.