Pigout in Vegas
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Pigging out in North Las Vegas

Nevada pig farmer Bob Combs has been picking up food scraps at Las Vegas casinos and feeding them to his hogs since 1963. During the recent building boom, houses were built nearby, prompting resident complaints against the developers over the foul odors from the farm.  (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Farmer Bob Combs’ 2,500 hogs dine on leftovers from Las Vegas casinos’ buffets. In the cycle of life and fine dining, Combs acknowledges that some of his pigs will end up back on the buffet line.  (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
For hours each day, farmer Bob Combs oversees a process in which a noxious mulch of casino buffet leavings is steamed, cleaned and culled for such impurities as plastic bags, champagne bottles and, once, a loaded .38-caliber pistol. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Each night, farmer Bob Combs’ three trucks -- with their image of a cartoon pig in bib overalls -- arrive at the backsides of 12 client casinos to collect the day’s buffet leavings. By morning, the slop has been whisked back to his 160-acre RC Farms, where they undergo a sorting and sanitizing process Combs devised himself. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Pig farmer Bob Combs likes feed time: “Any time I walk by those pens and hear ‘em eating -- that snorting, squealy sound, that’s as pretty to my ears as a babbling brook. I love to hear them hogs slop it up.” (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
A conveyor system makes the process of sorting and sanitizing leftovers easier at Bob Combs’ RC Farms in North Las Vegas, where worker Jose Lopez goes through the food scraps coming off the delivery trucks. Unwanted ingredients such as metal silverware, plates and huge bones are retrieved.  (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
A worker navigates a pen during feeding time. Farmer Bob Combs says his pigs are “intelligent and determined. People get mad at them because they’re stubborn, but they’re conservationists.” (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Pigs line up as a worker at RC Farms shovels out food that has been steamed, cleaned and culled for impurities after coming off the delivery truck. Farmer Bob Combs knows all his hogs must eventually go to market. “I don’t dwell on the slaughter,” he says. “We’re all gonna die. These pigs lead short and sweet lives. And they go to a good cause: feeding people.” (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)