STOP eating like a pig! I’m sweating like a pig! Clean up your room, it’s a pigsty! These expressions are so common but did you know that many of these stereotypes about pigs aren’t even true? Pigs are misunderstood mammals and are often associated with uncleanness, messiness and unpleasant odors. But pigs are actually particular about cleanliness and are intelligent and emotional creatures. In their natural habitat, pigs keep their living space clean and ensure it is far from where they carry out other activities. These mammals also have distinct personalities and form close personal bonds with humans. 

Pigs have proven their usefulness to humans since the time they were domesticated around 10,000 B.C. While pigs are mostly used for livestock, humans also use pigs for their hunting abilities and as household pets. While history and popular culture have redefined what pigs are, learning these 5 facts about the animal may surprise us and change our perception of these intelligent and useful mammals.

Here are 5 amazing facts about pigs! 

  1. Pigs are intelligent 

Pigs are considered one of the smartest mammals on Earth with an intelligence level of a human toddler. It has been observed that a pig is able to solve complex problems, use tools to get things done, understand numbers, recognize their own names and respond when they are called. In experimental studies conducted, pigs could locate objects and even use a joystick to identify images on the screen. This reveals that pigs display the same characteristics that we associate with intelligent animals such as hunting dogs. Because of their excellent memory, pigs are trainable and capable of much more than we give them credit for.

  1. Pigs are clean animals

Pigs are actually clean animals and follow an organizational structure in their nests. When in their natural habitat, pigs have been observed to use two different places to eat and relieve themselves. Even newborn piglets understand that their homes and feeding areas are separate from places designated for waste. Pigs are also known to decorate their living spaces with flowers and other aesthetically pleasing objects. Understanding that keeping clean will help them be healthier, pigs practice a lot of habits we consider to be preferable and positive and even pass on this information to their young to make sure that they too are clean and in good health. 

  1. Pigs have their own personalities 

Pigs are emotional, have distinct personalities and form personal bonds with other pigs, including singing to piglets while nursing them. The International Journal of Comparative Psychology has observed that a pig has his or her own individual characteristics such as specific behaviors or emotions, giving them unique personalities. Pigs are also able to sense the emotions of other pigs and use a range of movements and noises to communicate different emotions and messages. Pigs also develop close friendships with humans and are able to understand human languages and respond to certain words and commands. 

  1. Pigs don’t really sweat

The expression sweating like a pig is used a lot but the fact is, the sweat glands on pigs are not entirely functional. This is the reason pigs are seen rolling around in mud and water, because that is how pigs keep cool. As warm-blooded animals, pigs have sweat glands but they are not functional or sufficient for their size and hence, pigs search for other cooling mechanisms like bathing in mud and swimming in water. In addition to helping pigs keep cool, it also ensures the animals do not get sunburned or bitten by insects and other pests. This is especially important during the summer months when heat stress can affect a pig’s health. 

  1. Pigs have an excellent sense of smell and navigation 

You’ve heard of hunting dogs. How about hunting pigs? Early settlers domesticated pigs thousands of years ago after recognizing their strong sense of smell, navigation and memory power – making them the preferred animal for truffle hunting. Pigs have great peripheral vision due to the placement of their eyes and their snouts are 2,000 times more powerful than a human and capable of sniffing smells up to 25 feet underground, which makes them great at locating objects and hunting. Pigs have been observed to be able to return to the same location after traveling long distances and can even tell which way is north and south! 

But pigs are tortured and need your support 

We often don’t care about pigs because of their bad reputation. But pigs deserve to live their lives with the chance to display these amazing characteristics that we are just beginning to understand. However, pigs are mostly used by humans for meat, leather, glue, organs and medicines. On factory farms, pigs are tortured, abused and die a painful death. 

But India Animal Foundation and People For Animals Uttarakhand is rescuing pigs in captivity and giving them a safe home in a sanctuary where they can live their lives being the emotional, intelligent and useful animals that they are. Watch this campaign video by People For Animals Uttarakhand to hear about how pigs are abused in factory farms and how you can get involved in the effort to rescue these animals: 

To find out how you can rescue abused pigs and give them shelter and care, join the mission by People For Animals Uttarakhand:

Support People For Animals Uttarakhand


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