oinks, and this is the page where i gush about why! come wallow in the mud with me!!
what are pigs? pigs (sus domesticus) are omnivorous, even-toed ungulates that are kept as pets and raised as livestock on farms. they're intelligent, charming beasts whose most iconic appearance sprouts from the yorkshire breed - a pale pink, thin-haired animal with large, upright ears and a long snout built for rooting around in the dirt. what might surprise you, though, is that pigs come in many shapes and sizes, with over 137 breeds that boast their own unique characteristics and history!
the most famous behaviours of the pig are wallowing and rooting. wallowing is a comfort behaviour wherein a pig will lay or roll in mud as a way to relax. because of their lack of sweat glands, coating their body in mud lets them cool down and can even act as sunscreen! rooting, meanwhile, is a snout-nudging instinct that helps the pig forage for food in the dirt and undergrowth - this is used to till farmland. similar to a cat's kneading, though, this behaviour is comforting to pigs and can be used as a means of communication!
pigs are super versatile eaters, happy to chow down on everything from fruit and veg to meat and bones. however, as foraging animals, they mostly eat leaves, stems, roots, fruits, and flowers! stories about pigs eating people are popular, but it would take sixteen underfed and hungry pigs to do so in a timely manner. they won't attack you for no reason!
they're also the smartest domesticated animal in the world, more so than cats or dogs, with a range of amazing skills! they can perform tricks for treats, play simple video games with a joystick, distinguish between art pieces they'd seen before or are seeing for the first time, and can be quite sneaky and manipulative with their owners when it suits them. that being said, they are an overwhelmingly affectionate species, always seeking out company and huddling together with those they love. above all else, they love a good belly rub.
pigs embody a range of virtues across different cultures and belief systems. despite being considered dirty and slothful to some, they are a species that has long walked alongside mankind with a smile and a grunt, allowing us to prosper. relationships with them are fascinating and varied!
a long, long time ago, around 6000 BC, the fast-growing bodies of pigs were frequently compared to corn growing and ripening. their soft fats came to symbolize the earth itself, which inspired many sculptures of swine - round, smiling, blessed figures that were occasionally pressed with grain.
in celtic mythology, pigs represent kingship, might and brotherhood. they're often the subject of great feasts, and - alongside horses, dogs, and birds - are considered one of the most meaningful animals in storytelling traditions. the swineherds who tended to these esteemed animals were even believed to have magical powers!
pigs are sacred to demeter, the greek goddess of agriculture, and their presence was once thought to bring good fortune to plantation and harvests. they are similarly associated with her daughter, persephone, who embodies fertility. in many cultures, a statue of a pig is believed to help couples have children!
in pomaire, a small town in chile, locals keep good luck charms called chanchitos. these are small, astoundingly round three-legged pigs that are given to friends and loved ones as a token of good fortune. they can be found hanging in homes, shops and restaurants, bringing a sense of comfort to anyone who sees them.
pigs are especially popular in china!! they're associated with wealth, prosperity, honesty, and good luck, as well as being featured in folklore and closely linked to the home. one of the first animals to be domesticated in the east, they had a valued place within family households and were considered key to lifelong success. in fact, the chinese symbol for the word "home" is a pictograph of a roof with a pig beneath it! they're also the twelth animal in the chinese zodiac, with those born under its loving gaze being easy-going, honest, sociable and good-natured. for more about the pig zodiac, click here!
in modern science, pigs are a symbol of hope. they are considered the best non-human candidate for organ donations to humans, and to date are the only animal that has successfully donated an organ to a human body. not only are their organs similar in structure and size to our own, but they're also less likely to give us diseases due to their cleanliness and genetics!
why i like pigs!
well, how can i not? they're so so loving and so so shaped, and their history is so so connected with ours!! honestly, i hadn't given them much thought for a long time, but as my interest in medias like journey to the west, monkie kid and the furry fandom grew, i got more and more curious about the characters that most enraptured me. i looked into pig breeds i could use for my fursona (a kunekune hog, obviously) and was blessed by the variety of fluffy little dudes i could draw from! i looked into pig behaviours i could write into characters and was endeared by the news that hey, these guys are basically fat dogs who can play video games!!
every new thing i learn about pigs only makes me love them more, and that's why i made this page. for me! so i can learn more stuff, archive it, and reread it back to myself to remember the things that make me smile. pigs make me happy.
fun facts about pigs!
- 🐽 pigs are capable of sensing grief and will try to comfort their owners when they're upset.
- 🐽 when irritated, pigs grumble and flick their tails back and forth like a grumpy cat!
- 🐽 pigs show affection in a variety of ways, such as grunting softly, nudging with their snouts, wagging their tails, licking, and smiling!
- 🐽 snout kissing is a form of affection where a pig will press their snout against someone they love for an extended period. sometimes, two pigs will snout kiss each other by pressing their noses together!
- 🐽 pigs love pets, especially belly rubs.
- 🐽 like dogs, pigs pant when they're hot. they don't sweat much!
- 🐽 pigs eat socially. if a hungry pig starts eating next to a full pig, the full pig will start eating too!
- 🐽 when pigs are sick, they'll stop interacting with other pigs and hide themselves away. they don't want anyone else getting ill!
- 🐽 pig snouts are very sensitive, and they will sometimes root at textures with their nose for fun.
- 🐽 pigs are incredibly smart and can learn tricks even faster than dogs!
- 🐽 they can be taught to play simple video games, memorize images, solve puzzles, perform in agility shows, and to act as therapy animals!
- 🐽 pigs are nearsighted compared to humans! they likely have dichromatic colour vision and can identify blue most easily.
- 🐽 like cows, pigs pick best friends!
- 🐽 pigs have a similar sense of taste to humans and are able to distinguish sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavours.
- 🐽 they prefer sweet things! most pigs' favourite foods are meaty, sweet, cheesy things.
- 🐽 dominant pigs grow larger and fatter than submissive pigs.
- 🐽 pet pigs are known to be very fond of their sleeping quarters and love to be tucked in at night. uncovering a pig too early in the morning will make them grouchy!
- 🐽 pigs have an amazing sense of smell. they can smell things 7 miles away and 25 feet underground!
- 🐽 baby pigs are called piglets or squeakers.
- 🐽 generally, pigs don't like to be picked up, but will climb into the laps of humans they trust for cuddles!
- 🐽 pigs get the zoomies! they love to play by running back and forth or in circles, and will do this when they see someone they love.
- 🐽 some pigs show affection by tailing their loved ones - following them around as they go about their day. they love being talked to and included.
- 🐽 when searching for someone, pigs sometimes do something i affectionately call echolocation. they'll oink softly and repetitively, hoping to get an oink back to guide them!
- 🐽 pigs have a favourite sleeping position! in comfortable temperatures, most pigs are found lateral laying while touching their companions... which is to say they like laying on their side and cuddling.
- 🐽 in cold temperatures, pigs will often take up a loaf posture and cuddle with their companions. some even lay on eachother!
- 🐽 pig hooves need to be conditioned to encourage healthy growth, kill bacteria, and prevent cracking.