Pigs belong to one of the most exploited species around the globe, although they are very intelligent, social and emotional beings with personalities.
They can outsmart dogs and even chimpanzees in IQ tests. They recognize their names, understand commands quickly, and can use mirrors to find food or other objects. Some of them have learned to play video games!
They also have an excellent memory. According to various studies, pigs are able to remember the way back home even if it is a long distance, they also remember individuals of their own species and others.
Pigs are very social beings. They recognize members of their family and feel uncomfortable when they are with someone they don’t know. Thus, their language is complex. They use more than 20 types of sounds to communicate with their relatives, and they use them according to the context. Being alone stresses them out.
There’s a common belief that pigs are dirty, but that’s not true at all. When they have enough space, they never use the place where they eat and sleep to pee or poo. This only happens when they are confined in small spaces, like factory farming. When they take a mud bath, they do so because the mud helps cool their bodies on the hottest days and acts as a sunscreen for their delicate skin. In fact, pigs are very clean.
In addition, various studies have shown pigs can feel pain, fear, joy and empathy, among other emotions. Yet, around 1.5 billion pigs are killed for human consumption every year. Most of them live on factory farms, where they are raised massively in small spaces and unacceptable conditions.
Because they live extremely crowded, often in unsanitary conditions, and with most of their physical, social, and psychological needs violated, they can attack each other and even commit cannibalism. To reduce the economic losses these can generate, it’s a common practice to tail dock, teeth-clip and castrate piglets without anesthesia.
Pigs are highly intelligent and sensitive beings, both physically and emotionally. Like any other animal, they deserve to live with autonomy and free of pain. You can stop contributing to their mistreatment and exploitation by going vegan.