A Day No Pigs Would Die is the autobiographical story of Robert Newton Peck, a Vermonter born in the early 1900s, and his childhood during the Depression. The story follows Robert and explores his bond with his pet pig, Pinky. Eventually, economic necessity drives the Peck family to slaughter Pinky for meat, and Robert must come of age to cope with the trauma. The novel is a graphic look at the relationship between fathers and sons and men and animals.
While skipping school one day, twelve-year-old Rob Peck finds himself assisting a neighbor’s cow through the delivery of a pair of calves, an action that earns him a piglet he names Pinky. Pinky quickly becomes Rob’s best friend and closest companion save for his father, Haven, a butcher working to save money to pay off the Peck family’s farm.
Rob raises Pinky to be a prize-winning animal, while learning lessons about hard work, acceptance, and the importance of education from his family and friends in rural, fictional Learning, Vermont during the late 1920s.
Ultimately, tragic circumstances force Rob to learn that life is heartbreakingly impermanent and that wealth should never be measured in material goods alone.