What could be creepier than a living creature, a sentient being, that wants to be eaten by you? It laughs at its own death. It welcomes you to stick the knife in. It even serves itself up! My neighborhood, Times Square, is full of such imagery.
I am lucky to live near Esposito's, one of the few remaining old school butcher shops in New York. It's still a family business that emphasizes house-made sausages and fine technique. But I can't say that I have ever found its storefront image particularly appetizing. I think it's the way the pig is drooling with anticipation to the point where the saliva is flying off its tongue. Why is he so happy to be eating his brethren? Or perhaps his own self?
The longstanding classic Rudy's Bar & Grill has a sculpture out front that appears to be a happy pig dressed as some kind of maitre d'. I suppose this is a tad less disturbing because he seems gainfully employed and therefore safe from slaughter for the time being. But he must know there's a hot dog in his future (or his future in a hot dog).
Spanky's Barbecue, just a few yards from my apartment, has a logo in which a self-satisfied hog goes the extra mile and brings you a beautiful bone-in smoked ham on a platter with one hoof, and a sausage on a grill fork with the other. It makes me wonder: is there something he knows that I don't know? Is he bringing me a Trojan ham full of esophagus-blocking gristle? Will he be wearing the same grin as he watches me choke on it? When marketing death, a sense of humor is always useful. Here's a shot of a butcher shop not in the Times Square area in which a pig chomps its own tail. It shows that a little whimsy goes a long way when the ax comes down.