Pigs: Smarter than your Dog.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jul 30, 2010
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Update: Ryan Gosling calls on Canada to go cage-free for pigs: “Pigs in tiny crates suffer beyond anything most of us can easily imagine.” (theglobeandmail.com)

Animals are people, too.

“So hungry, I could eat a horse.”

I often think that if we could just talk with our animal friends, we’d know—just as we did, for a time, when we were children—that animals are people, too.

Would we cook your dog into tasty strips of lean burger? Would we delicately slice your cat and serve it on pizza?

A few facts from our feisty, animal-loving friends at PETA:

Pigs Have Feelings Too
Ninety-seven percent of pigs in the United States today are raised in factory farms, where they will never run across sprawling pastures, bask in the sun, breathe fresh air, or do anything else that comes naturally to them. Crowded into warehouses with nothing to do and nowhere to go, they are kept on a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive and make them grow faster, but the drugs cause many of the animals to become crippled under their own bulk. Learn more about cruelty to pigs. Check out these videos from pig farms in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Pigs and Playstations
Think that you can outplay a pig on your Playstation? You may be surprised. According to research, pigs are much smarter than dogs, and they even do better at video games than some primates. In fact, pigs are extremely clever animals who form complex social networks and have excellent memories. Eating a pig is like eating your dog! As actor Cameron Diaz put it after hearing that pigs have the mental capacities of a 3-year-old human: “[Eating bacon is] like eating my niece!” Learn more about pigs.

Pigs Prefer Mud, Not Crud
Pigs are actually very clean animals. If they are given sufficient space, pigs are careful not to soil the areas where they sleep or eat. And forget the silly saying “sweating like a pig”—pigs can’t even sweat! That’s why they bathe in water or mud to cool off. But in factory farms, they’re forced to live in their own feces and vomit and even amid the corpses of other pigs. Conditions are so filthy that at any given time, more than one-quarter of pigs suffer from mange—think of your worst case of poison ivy, and imagine having to suffer from it for the rest of your life. Learn more about what happens to pigs in factory farms. Check out the mange-ridden pigs on these South Dakota and Nebraska pig farms.

Farming Family Values
Factory farms are pure hell for pigs and their babies. Mother pigs spend most of their lives in tiny “gestation” crates, which are so small that the animals are unable to turn around or even lie down comfortably. They are repeatedly impregnated until they are slaughtered. Piglets, who are taken away from their distraught mothers after just a few weeks, have their tails chopped off, their teeth are clipped off with pliers, and the males are castrated—all without painkillers. Learn more about cruelty to pigs.

, “No man should be allowed to be President who does not understand hogs.” Most people know very little about these fascinating animals. In fact, pigs are curious and insightful animals thought to have intelligence beyond that of an average 3-year-old human child. They are smarter than dogs and every bit as friendly, loyal, and affectionate. When in their natural surroundings, not on factory farms, they are social, playful, protective animals who bond with each other, make beds, relax in the sun, and cool off in the mud.

Since most people are not that familiar with pigs, you may be surprised to learn that they dream, recognize their names, play video games more effectively than some primates, and lead social lives of a complexity previously observed only in primates.

People who run animal sanctuaries often describe pigs with human characteristics, because they’ve learned that, like humans, pigs enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages. To learn more about these amazing animals click here.

Images above and below: PETA, Google, Bill Peet, Charlotte’s Web.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


11 Responses to “Pigs: Smarter than your Dog.”

  1. heather grimes says:

    Heartbreaking, Way. Thanks for the wake up call.

  2. Animal Annie says:

    How does the Pig operate the Playstation?

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  4. Meh. says:

    With it's mouth I'm guessing.

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  6. Alice2112 says:

    Wanted to be vegetarian (aka vegan) since I was a kid, but wasn't allowed. Had many more substantial relationships with pigs than I did the dogs on our farm. I currently have a really smart,clever dog and whenever anyone says how smart she is, I always say, "she is almost as smart as a pig!"

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