Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!


Watch a movie like “Charlotte’s Web” or “Babe” and people will sympathize and root for the pig. They will hope that the pig in jeopardy will escape slaughter and get to live. Yet those same people will also declare that “everything is better with bacon,” eat ham and other pork products, and even have whole pig roasts at their parties and wedding receptions. How can it be that the same people who loudly exclaim “aww” at the sight of animated and real piglets might sit down to a meal of suckling pig?

Sadly, I was once one of those people. Every meal I ordered, I asked for extra bacon. Later in life, I grew to love sausages and spare ribs. But six years ago, when I sat down to watch a video of what farmed animals go through to get on our plates, it was the sight of tortured pigs that made me cry the most. Though I had to turn my head away several times, the images never left my mind and from that day on, I have not eaten one bite of meat. When I visited farm animal sanctuaries, I got to get up close and personal with pigs. They were huge and had trouble moving from the way they were bred but they were gentle, kind and loving. I was humbled to be in their presence. One even played with me, knocking me over with his snout when I squatted down next to him.  In the Chinese zodiac, the pig represents fortune, honesty and happiness. How appropriate for this honest, happy animal that is smart, lovable and forgiving. Here are just 10 of the reasons (among many!) to love pigs.

1. Pigs are Super-Smart and Remember Everything

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 1U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr


Scientists have determined that not only are pigs smart, they are smarter than dogs, some primates and 3-year old children. They are ranked as the fourth most intelligent creature on earth. Their level of cognitive ability allows pigs to play joystick-controlled video games, have abstract thought, use tools, recognize their own names, dream and follow commands.

Pigs can use mirrors to locate food that is not directly visible, a task only a few other animals such as dolphins, elephants and chimps, can accomplish. Pigs can be taught to sit, jump, fetch and catch Frisbees. A researcher at the University of Illinois found that pigs learned how to control the thermostat of their barn to adjust the temperature to their liking! Their ability to understand how other pigs think allows them to use deceit and purposely mislead other pigs to the wrong trail so they can keep more food for themselves. That’s tricky!

Pigs have excellent memories. Studies have shown that pigs can remember where food is stored and places where they have found food before. They can also remember directions and can find their way home from great distances. Pigs can recognize and remember humans and up to 30 other pigs. I guess not all pigs look alike!

2. Cleanliness is Next to Piggy-ness

piggy in mudDemocratify

Many people have this misconception that pigs are dirty animals. In fact, people take the piggy name in vain to insult people they think are slobs, calling them “filthy pigs” and comparing their homes or offices to a “pig sty.”

The truth is that pigs are very clean animals, so clean they can live indoors like dogs and cats as companion animals. Given the freedom to roam and sufficient space, pigs will not defecate near their sleeping or eating areas.

Pigs like to bathe in water though they do take mud baths. Why? Pigs have no sweat glands so they roll around in mud to stay cool and protect themselves from the sun. That’s right; the mud acts as a sunscreen. It also keeps bugs away. So the next time you hear someone say he is “sweating like a pig,” let him know that’s impossible since pigs don’t sweat.

3. Everyone Should Eat Like a Pig

pig eatingSurvival Kit


Another misconception people have about pigs is that they eat anything and everything and a lot of it quickly. The truth is quite the opposite. Pigs in the wild spend a long time foraging for food. Their best sense is smell and pigs root for food with their snouts, happy to find a variety of goodies to eat. Given the freedom, pigs can be very picky eaters. They like to have their menu changed up rather than get the same meal day after day. Pigs eat slowly, nibbling and savoring their food. Pigs do not “pig out” or “eat like hogs” which are more inaccurate phrases people use.

4.  Pigs are Highly Social

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 1Danel Solabarrieta/Flickr


Pigs are extremely social animals. They form close bonds with people and other animals. They love contact and enjoy getting massages. Pigs show affection by grooming each other. They greet each other by rubbing noses (aww!) and enjoy hanging out together, sunbathing, playing and listening to music. Pigs love to sleep together in nests, cuddled up nose-to-nose. Who wouldn’t want to cuddle up to a pig?

5. Pigs are Playful

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 1Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr


Pigs love to play. Just like for human children, play is an important part of piglets’ social and cognitive development. Pigs like to chase each other, run around, play fight and wrestle and push balls around with their noses, all the while grunting and squeaking (which is piggy laughter). Pigs like toys and will use their imaginations to find a way to play with cardboard boxes, blankets, hay or whatever they find on their explorations. Like children, pigs tend to get bored with the same toy quickly so it’s important to keep them stimulated with different play objects.

6. Pigs Talk a Lot

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 1Kozumel/Flickr


Pigs have a lot to say. They communicate constantly with each other and they don’t just say oink. Pigs have a vocabulary of over 20 distinct oinks, grunts, snorts, snarls and squeaks that have specific meanings. They convey their intentions, how they are feeling, warnings, greetings, and when it’s time for dinner. A lactating mother sow has a special call to let her piglets know it’s time to suckle and mother pigs stay in close contact with their piglets through grunts and squeals. Newborn piglets learn to recognize their mothers’ voices. Mother pigs also sing to their piglets while nursing.

7. Pigs are Good Mothers

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 1Richard Bartz/Wikimedia Commons


Pigs have a matriarchal family unit where piglets are cared for by the female relatives. Pigs are good mothers and develop strong bonds and love for her children, just like human mothers do. In the wild, the mother pig builds a nest for her unborn babies in a place she thinks will be safe for them. Sometimes she will walk over 6 miles to find a suitable place and will give birth to her babies in this secluded area. The mother pig will stay with her piglets for about two weeks before returning to the herd where she will wean her babies and teach them how to survive. Mother pigs get anxious when they are separated from their babies and mourn when they are taken away.

8. Pigs are Heroes

hero pigRebecca Siegel/Flickr


Pigs may not wear capes but they can be superheroes when they need to be. There are many stories of pigs who have faced danger and jumped in to save the day. Pigs have been reported to have saved humans and other animals from drowning, fires, and intruders. One pig flagged down a passing car to help her human companion who was having a heart attack. There are also numerous stories of pigs who manage to escape from trucks bound for slaughterhouses, saving themselves and showing us that pigs, like everyone else, want to live.

9. Pigs Have Personalities and Feelings

pig-14444_640.Public Domain Pictures/Pixabay


Just like humans, pigs have individual personalities with a wide range of traits and emotions. Some pigs are more playful than others, some are more serious, some are more daring and some are shyer. Some pigs seem to handle stress better than others who may suffer with depression. Pigs experience both positive and negative emotions and can feel happiness, sadness, grief and pain. Pigs are aware of their suffering and losses.

In fact, pigs are highly sensitive animals and can become quickly bored, anxious and depressed when confined to cramped spaces and mistreated. Pigs tend to be peaceful animals and only show aggression when they or their young are threatened. Pigs are curious, insightful, enthusiastic and optimistic animals who like to be entertained and have fun.

10. Pigs Show Compassion and Forgiveness

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 2sneakerdog/Flickr


Pigs are compassionate animals who show distress when they see another animal or human suffering. They are also forgiving as anyone who has ever visited a farm sanctuary knows. After being severely abused, rescued pigs learn to trust again and seem to not hold grudges. Even though they may have known horrible pain and loss at the hands of humans, they welcome the gentle touches of people who intend them no harm.

The Sad Reality for Most Pigs

Most of the pigs raised in the U.S. are in factory farms where they are confined and will never get to play, be clean, cuddle with each other or be picky eaters. The females will be forcibly impregnated, kept in gestation crates, have their babies taken away from them and eventually be slaughtered. The piglets will be castrated without anesthesia, have their tails chopped off and their teeth pulled out and will never know the protective love of their mothers. All of the pigs will be kept in crowded, dirty conditions with no ability to move. They will be fed poor food and drugs to make them grow so big they won’t be able to walk. Even in the best conditions of the friendliest farm, pigs raised for food will be killed and not allowed to live to their natural lifespan with their families in peace.

If only everyone knew how wonderful pigs are and believed that they deserve to live. If only humans were as sensitive and compassionate as pigs are…Please share these reasons to love pigs with others so everyone will see there are so many reasons to love pigs.

Lead Image Source: Jess Sloss/Flickr


Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

6 Reasons Why I No Longer Visit Zoos, Marine Parks, or Anything Other Facility That Displays Animals

Why I Stopped Visiting Marine Parks and Zoos

Wildlife Isn’t a Nuisance … Human Expansion and Development is What’s Plaguing Our Planet

The Destruction of Wildlife Habitat is Causing Human-Animal Conflict – and What We Can Do

Why Buying a Puppy Online is Just as Bad as Buying One From a Pet Store

Why Buying a Puppy Online is Just as Bad as Buying One From a Pet Store

3 Things Everyone Should Know Before Interacting With Wild Animals

3 Things Everyone Should Know Before Interacting With Wild Animals

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

0 comments on “10 Phenomenal Reasons to Love Pigs”

Click to add comment
Clarence Wiggum
3 Months Ago

Another way to fight pig ordinances (or any reasonable animal) ordinance would be to try and get your pig licensed with the local municipality. If they say "no" then file suit against them saying you want the same protection for your pig as a dog. Take it to federal court if possible. That way it makes said authorities silly they won\'t accept your personal choice to raise a pig as a companion on your own personal property.

The "ritual slaughter" in chicago municipal code giving exception to Kosher slaughter is outright a constitutional establishment clause violation.

Clarence Wiggum
3 Months Ago

It\'s amazing to walk around Chicago and get the "i can\'t eat that guy" after people stop by, rub my belly, and get to know me. I spoon my human friend every night and wouldn\'t leave his side if it were possible. However i\'m nearly blind. I don\'t see how i\'m catching a frisbee anytime soon!

Clarence Wiggum
3 Months Ago

There\'s a few breeds of pigs like Pot Bellies, Kune Kune\'s, and Guinea Hogs that their kind of lower weight makes them amazing companion animals. The trick is we need to all get together and fight city ordinances calling them livestock or a restricted species. Why are dogs, (even humans), or other animals okay but not a pig. It sounds rather arbitrary. This may sound strange but one way of getting by this is saying pigs are spirt animals or signifiant to your religious beliefs (such as Satanism) and fight ordinances such as in Chicago:


Also fight ordinances that exclude other animals from "dog beaches" and the like. We\'re slowing getting where we need to be and its about time where these ordinances are challenged and deemed completely irrational, illogical and arbitary.

this was written by a pig:


1 Years Ago

I LOVE Pigs!!!! Everyone should realize all that pigs go through (the grief, the torture, the pain) just so we humans can have some bacon or ham to eat! What have they ever done to us?!?!? Thank you for writing this article. I hope it helped people to save the pigs. They are TRULY AMAZING!!!!!

1 Years Ago

This is one of my favorite web sites but your POPUPS (for newsletters and videos) are extremely off-putting, even for a lover of the site! Get rid of them, seriously!

2 Years Ago

I have to agree. Have collected "pigs" since i was a little girl and for my 48th bday my husband bought me a super micro mini pig. She is now 7 months old, completely outside trained (only took 3 days) and is a 22lb love bug! Tallulah can sit and stay and is working on a few other commands but the thing she does best is snuggle. She also lives in my home with 3 dogs including a Rottweiler and loves to sleep on the couch snuggled under his belly. One of the best animals ever!

2 Years Ago

Pigs are amazing. Great article.

2 Years Ago

Pigs are the most wonderful creatures in the world! I trust you know Esther the Wonder Pig?

2 Years Ago


04 Feb 2015

I LOVE pigs. Thank you sooooo much for writing this article. It really is saddening she you realize the pain and torture that they went through just so we could have some bacon or ham. If only everyone understood. As always, keep protecting pigs. They are AMAZING, INTELLIGENT, and overall AMAZING!!!!!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×