Pigs are a lot like dogs and even humans! They love to snuggle up to each other, nose to nose and they even dream while sleeping. Pigs have a large social network and stay close to loved ones. They are curious and love activities such as listening to music, playing ball games and getting massages (who doesn’t?) They are also very smart and have good memories. Their intelligence level is higher than a dogs and equivalent to that of a 3-year-old child.
Pigs are very clean animals (cleaner that many humans I know) and are very careful not to soil the space they sleep or eat in. They like to stay in mud to keep cool, but if given the choice they will choose water. Pigs can swim too! They live up to 15 years in open, natural spaces.
Pigs have excellent smell and play an extremely important role in the ecosystem. Being natural diggers, their snouts help to push around dirt and dig up fresh, fertile earth from below. They help to create new areas where plants can grow and help to spread seeds.
Pigs suffer terribly in captivity. Being intelligent and naturally sociable animals, they suffer devastating psychological and emotional effects. They exhibit neurotic behaviors such as gnawing on bars of their cages, chewing with empty mouths, extreme frustration, aggression, and insanity: all which are contrary to normal pig behaviors.
Over 100 million are slaughtered every year for the meat industry. Piglets suffer brutal mutilation including castration without anesthesia, cutting off of their tails to avoid tail biting (a response from severe emotional trauma), have their ears cut to be tagged and have teeth cut in half. Many times these acts cause infection in the animals due to their filthy conditions. They are usually left untreated and begin to fester causing great pain in the already terrified and confused animal.
15% of piglets are dead after 2-3 weeks and the rest are taken away from their mothers to live in warehouses of cement floors and metal barred pens. They live here for 6 months until they have reached 250lbs and can be slaughtered.
The females (sows) live in gestation crates and have no room to move around. They lay the entire time in their own filth and sometimes near other dead pigs. They cannot stand or move and this leads to several problems such as obesity due to lack of exercise, skin rashes like bedsores, infections, mange and lung problems or pneumonia due to respiration of air contamination within the warehouses. Many of the mother pigs go insane from the confinement, deprivation and loneliness.
They are consistently artificially inseminated and after giving birth they are moved to farrowing crates to nurse. However, the pigs will refuse to go, screaming, kicking and biting to avoid being shoved into the extremely tiny, cramped, confined space. After 3 or 4 years the pigs’ bodies are spent and they are sent to slaughter. Gestation and farrowing crates are extremely barbaric and have already been banned in several U.S states, the UK and Sweden.by