There is nothing funny about naming anyone after an atrocity.
Yes, it is a provocative title. And some will try to argue that it is insensitive or worse to use this comparison for the intended purpose of this post. But, hopefully without hesitation, those of us not associating ourselves with hate based groups like neo-nazis or the KKK will agree that naming a Jewish child anything hinting at the Holocaust would be awful. And further, we'd agree that there was nothing humorous about this type of 'joke'. I only start with an example related to humans because unfortunately in our speciesist world, we struggle to understand the injustice created through applying different standards towards animals than towards humans in situations where it is unjustified. Further, we also neglect the feelings of humans that are not (or attempting not to be) speciesist, through our prejudicial words and actions. And words do have power and can lead us to do things that we might otherwise not have done simply because the language we use suggests it is okay.
As someone that is almost always walking one of my beloved companion pigs (who I view as my children), I frequently run into people that think naming pigs things that are plays on words related to the abuse and torment heaped upon animals in the world of animal agriculture. There is no shortage of people that ask if my pigs are named Chris P. Bacon. And, I try to start by asking them why they would ask that. And I do my best to not seem offended so that they can answer honestly. Almost always, people respond that it would be a funny name. So, I usually ask what part of making a pig into bacon is funny? Is it the raping of a mother pig by violating her sex organ while a farmer often tries to sexually stimulate her in other ways to encourage conception? It is the part where they take her babies away from her and then cut or shock her to go back and be raped again? Or is it the part where her children spend 6 months in a shed unable to do anything but wait to die. Yes, the fourth most intelligent animal, stuck in a shed with no stimulation but chewing on metal bars as they suffer mental torment and anguish prior to seeing the sun for the first time as they head to have their throats slit or be killed in a gas chamber (reminiscent of the Jewish Holocaust).
Some of these people do make the connection and realize that naming a pig after the atrocity committed against them isn't so funny. Others get angry, likely the result of feeling guilty about their role in the suffering they know pigs are going through and disliking being called out for trying to find humor in it. But, people need to be called out for their prejudices. Saying that the pig doesn't understand is not a justification. It ignores the impact their words have on those that love their pigs. And the way it suggests that there is human to be found in animal abuse.
But, it doesn't take much thought to realize that naming a pig Hammy, Hamlet, Kevin Bacon, and other plays on words related to the abuse pigs suffer is cruel and disgusting. And it teaches other adults and children to view even beloved pets as a promotion of the results of the violent business of animal agriculture. And asking someone with a pig if they've named their beloved companion one of these things is extremely insensitive to that person. My Pumpkin, Charlotte and Millie are not just raw materials in the production of food. They are living sentient beings that want to live. They love their children just as much as humans do. They communicate in their own pig language. They dream. They learn from the past and plan for the future. They deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. And there is absolutely nothing funny about joking that they are merely food items or a crude joke related to some food.
So, even if you think that because the pigs won't know what your words mean when you call them Bacon or Hammy or whatever… it doesn't mean your words are without power. They will impact those around you and continue to support the idea that pigs are merely objects for us to use. Just as naming a Jewish child Gas E. Chambers would both make light of the serious and horrible nature of the Holocaust, it would also encourage those around you to think that somehow the Holocaust was not so bad that it couldn't be joked about. The same things is true of pigs. You can decide if you want to support and endorse one of the cruelest practices mankind has ever perpetuated against innocent victims or you can think about the power of your words.
(*And for people looking to be offended and wanting to make outrageous claims without thinking about why they are really mad, let me clarify I am in no way trying to compare the pain and suffering of the victims of the human Holocaust with the animals suffering under the terror of animal agriculture. One cannot deny the similarities in how both groups aare/were treated by the oppressors and the justifications used. But, I can't compare one human's suffering to another human's. Suffering is not something that can be compared as it is a very individual thing.)