Over the years, pigs have gotten a bad rap. They’re dirty. They’re greedy. They over indulge. It’s time to set the record straight. Pigs rule and here’s why:

First of all, they’re cute


And, since pretty much the dawn of time, pigs have been a symbol of health, wealth, good luck and wisdom for a myriad of cultures.

German New Year 1965

“Pig in clover”
In the Victorian era, people only owned animals that served a purpose. Animals pulled plows, laid eggs or provided milk, all were a part of the work force. Pigs however were multi-talented and provided more income to farming families than any other farm animal. They can subsist on anything and are easy to breed making them a great money-maker for those living on marginal land.

Lucky pig
Teutonic in origin, pigs are meant to bring good luck, especially during the New Year. In the US, during the holidays, many families still follow the tradition of the peppermint pig. Families break the candy after dinner (inside a small cloth pouch) using a miniature hammer. Then everyone shares in eating the pieces, hoping for good fortune in the coming year. In Germany, marzipan pigs are popular treats on New Year’s Eve.

 

They’re the epitome of sophistication

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People that have pigs as pets say that, like humans, they enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages.

Fact: Pigs are smarter than your average bear

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Pigs are the fourth most intelligent animal, behind chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. According to Professor Donald Broom of the Cambridge University Veterinary School, “[Pigs] have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than human] 3-year-olds.”
Also? They can recognize their own name two to three weeks after birth

I’ll have what he’s having

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Like humans, they are omnivores. Pigs will eat just about anything, making it easy and affordable to care for them.

Pigs save lives

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Because pigs are genetically similar to humans, we have been able to transplant pig heart valves into humans. And as a result, there’s some serious research being conducted into creating organ donor pigs.

They’re born with a green thumb…or snout

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Wild pigs help manage ecosystems and maintain biodiversity. When pigs root, or dig around with their snouts, the disturbance in the soil creates new areas for plant growth.

Masters of communication


Pigs are constantly talking to each other, using more than 20 different oinks, grunts and squeals to get their message across. Piglets run to their mother’s voices and mama pigs even sing to their kiddos while they nurse.

This holiday season start a tradition that’s healthy and wise. Help a family in need start their New Year with a pig.

More about How Pigs Help

 

 

Author

Falguni Vyas

Falguni (sounds like "balcony") Vyas is from Atlanta, Georgia and began working with Heifer International in Little Rock as a copywriter in 2011. She received her master's degree at Istituto Marangoni in Milan, Italy and her bachelor's degree at Franklin College Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland. She does not like writing about herself in the third person.