There are a lot of misconceptions about pigs, but these ten facts about pigs will help you see them differently.
Pigs have more than 20 distinct grunts and squeals that have been identified and range from expressing hunger to calling for mates.
Have you ever wondered why people love pigs so much? There is an entire Instagram hashtag dedicated to these adorable animals. So we’ve compiled ten facts about pigs to help you learn a little bit more about them and discover what you can do to help these lovable animals live better lives.
1. Pigs are very clean animals
Despite my mother consistently calling my bedroom a pigsty growing up, pigs are actually very clean animals. In fact, they’re some of the cleanest animals around and refuse to defecate where they sleep and eat if given the choice. Even newborn piglets will leave their sleeping areas to relieve themselves!
2. Pigs can’t sweat
“Sweating like a pig” is another misleading and commonly used phrase since pigs can’t sweat! Pigs don’t have many sweat glands, so they roll around and sleep in mud and swim in water to keep cool. A bonus to rolling in mud: it helps keep a pig’s skin from getting sunburned.
3. Pigs are smarter than your dog
It’s true! Pigs have the intelligence of a human toddler and are ranked as the fifth most intelligent animal in the world! In fact, pigs are more intelligent and trainable than any breed of dog. They learn their names in just two weeks and come when they’re called. Pigs are even capable of playing video games better than some primates.
4. Mother pigs sing to their babies
This is one of the sweetest facts about pigs: mother pigs sing to their babies while nursing. Newborn piglets learn to run towards their mothers’ voices, and pigs constantly communicate with each other. They have more than 20 distinct grunts and squeals that have been identified and range from expressing hunger to calling for mates.
5. Pigs love belly rubs!
Social animals, pigs love to use trees to rub and scratch on and enjoy belly rubs from their human caretakers! They even enjoy various enrichment toys and playing with each other.
6. Pigs have an excellent sense of direction
Pigs are navigators: they can find their way home over large distances. They can often trot long distances and can reach up to 11 miles per hour running.
7. Pigs dream and like to sleep nose-to-nose
Have you ever seen a piggy pile? Pigs love to stay connected with each other by sleeping close together, often making sure to touch their friends while they drift off to dreamland! Few animals are more social than pigs, who form close bonds with other pigs and humans.
8. Pigs have excellent memories
Remember when we said pigs are incredibly intelligent and can play video games better than some primates? Well, a pig wouldn’t forget that! Pigs have exceptional memories, especially when it comes to object location. If they find a great spot for grub, they’ll remember to look at the exact spot again!
9. Pigs suffer immensely on factory farms
With the world’s insatiable appetite for meat, most farmed animals are bred and live on factory farms. Mother pigs, for instance, are forced to live in crates so small they can barely turn around or lie down comfortably. Piglets endure brutal mutilations such as tail docking and teeth clipping because the lack of space provided on factory farms leads to increased stress, tension, aggression, and fighting amongst pigs as they age.
10. Pigs are deserving of good lives
Pigs are sentient beings, meaning they experience a wide range of emotions and can feel pain. Each pig on a factory farm has a distinct personality and desires, but factory farms deny everything that comes naturally to these intelligent and sensitive animals. Every pig deserves a good life where they can raise their babies and perform other natural behaviors like foraging for food, cuddling with other pigs, and roaming freely. You can help pigs live the lives they deserve by joining our movement to reform the factory farming system.