Celebrate National Pig Day

The Pig! We don’t often discuss him, but he plays a big part in many of our lives. Whether it’s bacon on our breakfast table, or ham on holidays, or the pet in our yard, the pig has found its way into most American homes. 

National Pig Day recognizes and gives thanks to domesticated pigs. The holiday, officially started in 1972 by sisters Mary Lynne Rave and Ellen Stanley, helps to raise awareness about pigs and their importance to humans.  The sisters felt that pigs were so important to our daily lives that they deserved a day to “accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals.”


Most people are unaware that pigs are clever, intelligent animals. Did you know that according to USA Today, pigs are as smart as a 3 year old human child? That’s right, pigs are extremely complicated animals who know how to adapt to complex environmental situations because they have the ability to learn new skills easily.

According to Science on NBC News: Pigs are perhaps the smartest, cleanest domestic animals known – more so than cats and dogs, according to some experts. But pigs don’t have sweat glands, so they roll around in the mud to stay cool – a sign of their cleverness.  Pigs were trained to move a cursor on a video screen with their snouts and used the cursor to distinguish between scribbles they knew and those they were seeing for the first time. They learned the task as quickly as chimpanzees. Pigs also have an extraordinary sense of smell. Many scientists believe that this sense is even more powerful in pigs than it is in dogs.


Here’s the dirt on pigs. Even though they are often mistakenly regarded as dirty animals, pigs are in reality some of the cleanest animals on the planet. Pigs will not defecate where they sleep and even newborn piglets will leave the safety of their bed to use the toilet at a different location. 


While this holiday is fairly well observed, there is some debate over how it should be done. Some people contend that it is important to give the pig a break on this day and refrain from eating pork products while others view this day as an excuse to enjoy all of the bounties one can obtain from a pig.

Considering how important the pig is to diets and economies across the world, it’s no surprise that Pig Day has caught on all over the world.

Whether you decide to celebrate pigs because they are one of our most intelligent animals or because they taste so good, set aside some time to recognize the part pigs play in all of our lives.

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