I’ll tell you why: because that pig is friggin’ adorable. And with his pointy pink head, roving nose disk, and impeccable table manners, this little pig gives new meaning to the question, “What’s for dinner?”
It may surprise you to know that good manners are nothing new for pigs. Pigs are very conscientious. They even make their beds at night! Pigs love to build nests to sleep in, and will use any soft materials available; even your pants —
But they especially like fresh straw (seen here at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary):
Their thoughtfulness doesn’t just extend to housekeeping, though. Pigs are highly empathic. As one undercover Mercy for Animals investigator wrote:
“I saw ﬁrsthand how clever and empathic pigs can be. A sow and her entire litter had escaped their crate and gathered in the hallway. I discovered the sow had loosened steel pegs in two diﬀerent places. I told a coworker this story; she said when a sow ﬁgures out how to unlock her crate, she often goes around unlocking all of the others as well.…”
Most pigs raised for food never have anything like a natural environment in which to express their natural instincts. They don’t have straw or anything soft. Breeding sows spend most of their lives locked in crates so narrow they cannot even turn around. They can’t build birthing nests or birth in private, both of which are deeply rooted impulses in mother pigs; nor can they express any other natural or maternal behavior. They become depressed and many go insane. Their babies are taken from them at just a few weeks of age and crammed into a desolate “nursery” with no bedding or environmental enrichment.
When they are only a few days old, baby pigs on all farm types, from factory farms to small and so-called humane farms, are subjected to horrific mutilations without painkiller or anesthesia in a procedure known as piglet “processing.” These mutilations include having their testicles cut or ripped out; having some of their teeth clipped off with pliers; having notches of flesh cut out of their ears; and having their tails cut off. The video below shows “processing” of a baby pig on a small farm. What you see represents just a fraction of the difference between sharing a meal with a pig, and turning a pig into a meal.
The next time you contemplate eating bacon, pork, ham or sausage, please remember who it is you’re eating. And please consider going vegan. Learn more about the life and death of pigs killed for meat, including practices on so-called humane farms, in our article, Bacon: A Day in the Life. Also check out our popular feature on vegan bacon, with an exclusive recipe that has former bacon lovers raving.