Thursday, August 22, 2013


I like pigs.  Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals.
                                                                Winston Churchill
 Pigs have gotten a bum rap and I’m here to set the record straight.  Pigs are clean, intelligent, and much more like us than we care to admit.  You’ve all heard, “lazy pig,” “pig out,” ”stink like a pig,” “male chauvinist pig.”  Well, pigs have a defense that most people haven’t taken the time to find out.
 Contrary to what most people believe, pigs are extremely clean animals.  Pigs don’t have sweat glands to cool them off.  Rolling in mud keeps their body temperature down in hot weather.  They don’t have a choice and would probably rather roll in mud than their own waste while confined in filthy pig pen.  Actually, they are excellent swimmers and prefer water to mud.  For lying in the mud for long periods of time trying to keep cool in the heat, they are called “lazy.” I bet you don’t know that pigs from birth keep their bedding place separate from their elimination place. Newborn piglets will leave the area where they nurse to relieve themselves.  Pigs are not only clean, but they’re smart, too.

Pigs are extremely intelligent animals.  In the animal kingdom, pigs rank No. 4 in intelligence behind chimpanzees, dolphins, and elephants. They quickly master the Mirror Self-Recognition Test, an indicator of self-awareness and advanced intelligence in animals.  Experts consider pigs more trainable than dogs or cats.  It’s not uncommon to see pigs in circus acts now. 

Whether you want to admit it or not, we humans have a lot in common with pigs.  The anatomy of a pig and a human are very similar.  That’s why pig heart valves are used in human hearts.  They’ve been available for more than 30 years.  Just think of the number of lives that have been saved by the use of pig heart valves.  There is a worldwide shortage of organs for transplants.  Scientists are researching genetically engineered pig organs for human transplants in the future.  Pig hearts, lungs, livers, gall bladders, and the digestive system are very similar to that of humans, only smaller.  You’d think that apes and chimpanzees would be more like us than pigs, but not so.

Pigs don’t have sweat glands so because they roll in and spend a lot of time in mud to cool off in hot weather, they’re called dirty and lazy.  Pigs are Number 4 in animal intelligence behind chimpanzees, dolphins, and elephants.  And a pig’s anatomy is similar to yours and mine.  Remember all of that the next time you hear a pig slandered.  Did I set the record straight?



Morgan St. James said...

Thanks for the "piganomatry" facts Judy. Pigs do, indeed, get a bum rap. Years ago I wanted to collect something, and I settled upon collecting pig artifacts. Now I have over 200 from all over the world--ceramic, stuffed, metal, wood...check them out on the Pigs, Pigs, Pigs tab on my website

Judy McFadden said...

I love your pig collection, Morgan. Who knew you were into pigs, too. I miss you and all my friends at the Henderson Writers Group. Congratulations on your success. You are a real go-getter.