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Do you love animals? Pigs are not snuggly but may be as intelligent as dogs and they are being horribly tortured from weaning to early death.


October 12, 2022 |

Stella Starr, Pet Perspectives


I spent a week with one of friends whose husband raises pigs. Pigs are not bonded to humans like our dogs but his pigs seemed very aware of what WE were thinking and what THEY were doing.



It made me think about my cats and other species that seem to have an affinity for people and so we make pets out of them. When I got home, I looked up pigs. Neuroscientist Lori Marino of Emory University says “pigs share a number of cognitive capacities with other highly intelligent species such as dogs, chimpanzees, elephants, dolphins, and even humans.” Well, I didn’t know THAT!


I read some more. Researchers concluded that “pigs have excellent long-term memories and are skilled at mazes and other tests requiring location of objects.” Are they suggesting that pigs can hunt down a mouse better than my cats?


Still thinking of pigs as bacon, I admit to only thinking about porkers as food until I read this gut-wrenching report by the Washington Post. “Five-hundred-pound pregnant sows are confined in a metal crate sized to fit their bodies. For 16 weeks of gestation, the sows can’t turn around or stretch their legs.”



4 months of physical torture would drive any human to insanity. Can you imagine being in a straight-jacket on top of being pregnant? Unable to move (or throw up – do pigs have morning sickness?) then imagine this. When the pregnant pig is ready to give birth, she is taken to another place called a “Farrowing Barn”. Now wait a minute!!! She has probably already made plans based on where she is.


Cats or dogs will dig in the closet, under the house, and try out lots of hiding places before you convince her that a “whelping bed” is best. A dog accepts your weird idea because she loves and trusts you. A cat may take some convincing but please don’t hover, it stresses her. All animals need a secluded place to birth their babies.



So imagine the trauma to a pregnant pig!!! She is crush-caged in a busy barn where she is forced to deliver her piglets. A pig delivers just like your beloved breeding bitch. She cleans and cuddles her newborns incessantly, cleaning them and herself. She ingests their bacteria to boost her own antibodies. The licking and nudging bonds mother and offspring. Are you still with me???


Caged pigs AND their offspring are deprived of vital interactions and the bonding process as the sow somehow overcomes her torturous immobility and lets her milk down to infants she can’t touch!


Adding to the horror of commercial pig farms, newborn piglets have to scramble through a confined space to suckle their mothers, who are soon returned to the Gestation Barn for another round of 16-week torture. Pigs. Highly intelligent animals. Driven insane so that we can feed an increasingly over-populated world. It’s enough to drive you crazy…


Nature, God, Science, Humanity. Words we don’t hear often enough in our plastic-concrete world. It “isn’t in the cards” for me and on this I can see no future. I hope it makes us think. So I am not misunderstood, the solution isn’t going vegan. Let’s just say it’s enough to drive you crazy, it is control. EST 2002 © Oct. 2022



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