As you may know by now, the staff at Upaya Naturals are big animals lovers and in continuation to our 3 part series, our next staff favorite is Pigs! The US Humane Society says that pigs are one of the smartest animals on Earth—brainier than dogs or three-year-old children! These gentle animals naturally form close-knit groups led by females who raise their young together. Sadly, millions of pigs live abysmal lives on factory farms. We can make a difference for pigs all around the world and provide them with safe and comfortable homes and lives.
The common misconception about pigs is that they are dirty animals that “pig out”, roll in the mud and represent the term “raised in a barn”. But what most people don’t know is that the stereotypes surrounding pigs are not true, in fact, they are the complete opposite.
Check out this list courtesy of PETA of things we are pretty sure most people don’t know about pigs!
- Pigs snuggle close to one another and prefer to sleep nose to nose. They dream, much as humans do. In their natural surroundings, pigs spend hours playing, sunbathing, and exploring. People who run animal sanctuaries for farmed animals often report that pigs, like humans, enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages.
- Pigs communicate constantly with one another; more than 20 vocalizations have been identified that pigs use in different situations, from wooing mates to saying, “I’m hungry!”
- Pigs do not “eat like pigs” or “pig out.” They prefer to eat slowly and savor their food.
- Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers’ voices and to recognize their own names. Mother pigs sing to their young while nursing.
- Pigs are clean animals. If given sufficient space, they will be careful not to soil the area where they sleep or eat. Pigs don’t “sweat like pigs”; they are actually unable to sweat. They like to bathe in water or mud to keep cool, and they actually prefer water to mud. One woman developed a shower for her pigs, and they learned to turn it on and off by themselves.
Winston Churchill once said “Dogs look up to man. Cats look down to man. Pigs look us straight in the eye and see an equal.” Humans and animals have coexisted for years and with all of this new information we are learning, we can see that animals are more like us than we may have ever known. After learning all of this, how can we still allow these animals to undergo such traumatic treatment, abuse and death just for us to put a ham out on special occasions? The procedure to kill a pig for a meal is devastating and extremely unsettling. If we wouldn’t want this for one of our own, how could we allow this for harmless, intelligent animals?
When a pig is in preparation to be made into bacon, ham, pork chops etc, the process is blood curdling. Piglets have eight needle sharp teeth that can cut the mothers utters so in the process of feeding and growth, farmers and owners break these teeth off with a pair of pliers because injuries that these teeth can cause can result in a profit loss for the farmer. Unbelievable. Piglets also have their tails cut off with no pain relief. Farmers will then cut chunks of flesh from the piglets ears strictly to represent their litter number- each pig gets their own individual “notch” at the farmers call it. All male piglets are then castrated in order to prevent “boar taint,” a strong odor associated with the flesh from intact males, and considered offensive. (Boar taint is prohibited by food quality regulations in many countries). This is done without any freezing or pain relief as farmers say this is “too costly”.