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Eventually, Peck began working as an advertising scriptwriter for American Home Products.Peck had long believed that "the brutal truths of farm life survival are quite beautiful", and had wanted to write about them since he was eleven. Peck starting publishing young adult novels at the age of forty-four, using the time he spent commuting to and from New York City – ten hours a week – to write; working this way, he produced the manuscripts for five young adult novels in just three years.Another complainant maintained that Peck was "trying to depict Shaker life but...really showing a perverted lifestyle as their norm." There has also been some concern that A Day No Pigs Would Die would have a negative influence on adolescent male readers, conditioning boys to view "violence and killing as a part of their initiation into the adult world".
The New York Times claimed that "you'll find yourself caught up in the novel's emotion from the very opening scene which will grab you and not let you go..suffuses every pages" and likened it stylistically to True Grit and Addie Pray.Robert Newton Peck was born on February 17, 1928, in rural Vermont to Haven Peck and Lucile Dornburgh Peck, farmers who had an interest in the tenets of Shakerism.He served as a machine-gunner in the army 88th Infantry Division during World War II, and then upon returning home in 1947 enrolled in Rollins College.Needing food and not having the money to care for a barren animal, Rob and Haven have to kill Pinky. Rob and his family call themselves Shakers, although they appear to be only selectively following the tenets of this religion.Peck describes "Shakers who marry, live in nuclear families, read a Shaker 'bible,' and attend a Shaker church." Shakers, however, do not form into traditional family units or have a biblical text.
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He later has Pinky breed for the first time, in a graphic scene, and must then help his father butcher Pinky, after she proves to be barren and too costly for the family to keep if she cannot birth piglets for them to sell.