"The New York Times has an article about me calling columnist Heather Mallick a pig," blogs Greta van Susteren via Foxnews.com. "Yes, I called a columnist—in a calm, cool voice—a pig for saying that the nominee for Vice President looks like a porn star." Well, Greta: you can be "happier than a pig in shit" or you can be a "thoughtless little pig," like Alec Baldwin called his daughter via voicemail. You can even be a capitalist pig. We've discussed the lexicon of contemporary vulgarities before, but never have we explored the history of farmyard abuse in politics. Like manure, it is a very rich and fertile ground.There have been entire dissertations written about the "gendered" nature of insults, especially animal epithets. (One paper discusses how Camilla Parker-Bowles was often compared to a cow in the British media, even a "puppy.") Previously, we thought the "pig" insult was aimed at men. But recently we've learned it can be used towards women, too! Like Obama's alleged "lipstick on a pig" gaffe that wasn't aimed at Sarah Palin, Alec Baldwin's 11-year-old, and Greta's pundit-on-columnist insult action. "Pig" as an insult has both religious and farmyard roots. (Some) Jews and Muslims avoid pork because Leviticus 11:17 called it an "unclean" animal. Pigs are scavengers in the wild—like dogs—and they'll eat anything, even cannibalize or eat human corpses. See, they have no morals! (Because they're animals.) So if you're a pig, you're not only a.) dirty, but b.) lazy, and c.) immoral. In a country rooted in hard-working Puritanism, this is a very bad combination. However, as they're factory-farmed today, pigs are not dirty at all. Today's domesticated pig is fed mainly a diet of grain as they're fattened up for the kill, preparing them for the day in which they will be delivered to Americans' plates—and TV sets, and enlightened political debate. Get ready, little guys. You're next.