Site Map
Pig Sounds, Quotations, Proverbs and Pig Intelligence
Section › 4 Set Search Previous Next

Reservations Contents  

Pig Proverbs Quotations and Findings. Illustration by T. Kinnes
Gentlemen, a pig looks all right to a pig.

The pig is brighter than most people like to consider. It may not show up at first sight, just as with the gentleman - who is one and who is not?

The pig was an object of worship in some primitive religions. (Edmund Cohen. Jung and the Scientific Attitude p. 147)

Like children, they [pigs] thrive on affection, enjoy toys, have a short attention span, and are easily bored. [Karl Schwenke, in Masson 2004:20]

Pig Sounds

What the pig grunts

Chinese (Mandarin): hu-lu hu-lu
Danish: øf
English: oink oink
Finnish: röh röh
French: groin groin
Hungarian: röf-röf-röf
Japanese: buubuu
Korean: kkool-kkool
Norwegian: nøff-nøff
Polish: chrum chrum
Russian: khryu-khryu
Spanish (Spain): oink-oink
Swedish: nöff

Pig Proverbs

Don't buy a pig in a poke (Mieder et al. 1996 463).

One does not feed the swine for its own sake (Holm 1973).

One cannot have bacon and keep the pig too (Beyer and Beyer 1985).

Where the pigsty is open, the pigs run out (Beyer and Beyer 1985).

Live with a hog and you'll grunt like one (Mieder et al. 1996 302).

The voice of a pig can hardly be disguised (Mieder et al. 1996 153, with).

It is not necessary to be a pig in order to raise one (Mieder et al. 1996 464, partial).

You can't root with the hogs and have a clean nose (Mieder et al. 1996 303).

A swine over fat, is the cause of his own bane (Fergusson 1986:103).

You can lead a pig to water, but you can't make him drink. (Or horse) (Mieder et al. 1996:464).


The Underestimated Animals

"It is always dangerous to underestimate anybody." - Abdullah II of Jordan

A Pot-bellied Pig to the Rescue

Ann Altsman had a heart attack in the bedroom of her vacation trailer at a Pennsylvania lake resort on August 4, 1998. At the time, her husband, Jack, was fishing on Lake Erie. She yelled for someone to come or call an ambulance, but no one was close enough to respond.

Her American Eskimo dog began to bark, though, and in came her one-year old Vietnamese pot-bellied pig Lulu. At first she looked perplexed and made sounds as if she was crying, crying like a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. But suddenly she pulled herself together and headed outside and came into the fenced-in yard. She somehow pushed open the gate and walked into the road. Witnesses later told that Lulu waited until a car approached and then walked onto the road and lay down right in front it.

One man stopped but he was so unsure of what the creature on the road was that he was afraid to get out. But another disbelieving motorist stopped for the pig and got out. Lulu knew just what to do. She led the man to the house and the rescue.

Lulu's mistress heard a man screaming through her window that her pig was in distress. She answered that it was she who was in distress, and asked him to call an ambulance. When the pig tried to get into the ambulance with her mistress, medics gently let Lulu know she had done enough for one day.

The help arrived in time. Doctors said that if fifteen more minutes had elapsed, Ann Altsman would likely have died.

The Altsmans thanked Lulu by giving her a jelly doughnut. She was also awarded a gold medal for heroism by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Who can tell whether she would rather have had ten more doughnuts instead?

(Dasa 2012:35-36. Abr. Also in Masson 2004:27)

When given the proper care and training, a pot bellied pig can make an interesting and much-loved addition to the home, writes Lianne McLeod. [◦The article]

If your pig stops eating take him to the vet as this is never normal. [Adrienne Kruzer. [◦ The article]

Pigs will become extremely friendly . . . aware of our resemblance and so regard us more as cousins. (Masson 2004:18)

We humans share a great deal in common with pigs. . . . Pigs dream and can see colours . . . snuggle up close to another and . . . like to sleep nose to nose. . . . The females form stable families. (Masson 2004:19)

Much like children, piglets do not develop in a normal way when they are deprived of the opportunity to engage in play. (Masson 2004:20)

Pigs are much like us in ways that matter. (Masson 2004:22)

The lives that pigs lead on a factory farm is not anyone's idea of a happy life, neither that of a pig nor that of any human being. (Masson 2004:44, abr).


Humans have a long history of locking up animals to get a lot from them. Making use of animals is to degrade them, to go against their freedom by limiting their outlets and removing from their environment too much that naturally suit them. The cramped living in "pig factories" speaks of violent abuse of them.

Animals are like children in they may not be able to tell that they suffer, or why, but may feel a lot, they too.

Against animal violent abuse there are conservation ideas. To keep wild animals alive, they need enough land (habitat) - often in competition with humans. Research into animals has brought to light that they have been much underestimated - and pigs are too. It might be a result of the abuse to look down on and take to smearing words about the enslaved animals. Besides, the attitude of limiting their life outlets, using them and kill them too, is transmitted to children, for example in children's songs about farm animals. Pigs or swine were made to be their own. However, "If you love somebody, set them free," may not work in all cases, even though "If you are fond of animals, you don't make them suffer and then eat them" could work. For vegetarians it does.

"With corporate hog factories replacing traditional hog farms, pigs raised for food are treated more as inanimate tools of production than as living, feeling animals. (Dasa 2012:36)

From pig to computer expert, with humility

The inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made sound never equalled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig. (Alfred Hitchcock)

Buubuu - pigs are intelligent and feel a lot.
Pigs are marked by brightness and may be taught to shepherd sheep easily, even. Yet in some ways they are much like us humans.

On the bright side of the human race, more concerns for animal rights have grown after profuse and blunt use of these animals. But still pigs and castrated pigs (hogs) are fattened in hard-headed ways. Industrial farming sees to it. The inherent good, natural value of a pig may be abused or severely suppressed. Prejudice sees to it, as the near-proverb says, "Give a hog a bad name and hang him". There is a subtle play on words right there. As you dwell on the new, coined saying, it is possible to get more out of it. That is what inherent brightness (cleverness, intelligence) is for. [Strip].

The documentary "Look Who Is Talking Babe"

Never underestimate the power of a simple tool. - Craig Bruce

Pigs and swine have learnt to grovel. So they are naturally quite apt at handling joysticks. In a British documentary presented on the TVN channel in Norway on Sunday, September 6, 1998 from 9 AM and nearly half and hour, the animal psychologist, Professor Stanley Curtis , said the pig is the smartest animal on earth after man. Quite helpless in the hands of man, still rather intelligent in its ways: most animals are like that.

In the program, pigs excelled in using computers, and dogs failed. So if the pig is not worthy of a place in the pet cemetary, why the dog?

Showing their snout-user eminence by simple computer games: Pigs

Farmers today keep themselves in ignorance of the needs and true nature of pigs precisely because to know would put their conscience in a terrible bind. Wilful ignorance of this kind is no better than complicity. (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals)

Dr. Curtis' research study involved joystick-handling of easy computer games. Mieder et al. 1996es, dogs, and pigs were allowed to show off. After two weeks of easygoing adjustments, pigs excelled . But some dogs could not master the tasks even after a year of animal training. They have no built-in patterns of using their snouts to push joysticks as pigs can do with roots and in hunting for truffles. We have indicated a possible source of error in interpreting the results here. Anyway, the two pigs in the study, Omelett and Hamlet, were about as good as old-man-looking chimpanzees.

We can look on pigs like little children. There are two ways of doing that. Maybe it could help to surround yourself by pigs, or keep one of them as a pet. Some do that. The pot-bellied pig has recently become quite popular among pet owners in America. Pet pigs are not only smart, but also

readily trained, affectionate, curious, playful, clean, generally quiet, odor free, and usually non-allergenic. Many owners consider their pigs an integral part of the family and involve them in all their activities. [◦Link]

However, without appropriate stimulation and careful training, they can become easily bored, and possibly destructive. [◦Link]

One of the things to learn from pigs as house pets, is that an intact male (not neutered male) has a strong, foul odour and becomes sexually active when he is six to eight weeks old - rather early. Another thing to learn is that pigs can "freak out" by stress or fear rather easily. It has such a built-in survival pattern to serve it in the free, it may be suggested.

It is not just the bacon that speaks for the pig any longer.


Pigs in a Further Perspective

If it looks like a pig, sounds like a pig, acts like pig, it might as well be one.

Pig Definitions and Pig History

A dictionary defines a pig as a young domesticated swine not yet sexually mature. More broadly it is a wild or domestic swine. It can also be an animal related to or resembling the pig. When the pig is called pork, it is the dressed carcass of a young swine weighing less than sixty kilograms. A hog is a castrated pig, which is being humbled a lot

The word 'pig' is also used about a dirty, gluttonous, or repulsive person.

Most domestic pigs derived from the European wild pig. There is little difference between wild pigs, or boars, and domestic swine. Wild pigs are thought to be up at night and eating nearly everything they can get, that is, they are nocturnal omnivores. They may live up to twenty-five years or more. Pigs may "survive their first Christmas", if given a reasonable choice.

There are many breeds, and some pigs are not so big. The Yorkshire is probably the most popular breed in the world. It was produced in the 1700s by crossing the large white native pig of North England with the smaller, fatter, white Chinese pig.

Pigs and humans have much in common, also on the level of genes:

(a) The sometimes sweet and sensitive animal has organs that may be transplanted to humans, the size and build-up (morphology) of its intestive organs come close to those of humans, the skin may look a bit like human skin at a distance, and so on.

(b) Professor Stanley Curtis ranks the pig as number two among intelligent beings on the planet. Others suggest humans; primates (apes and monkeys); dolphins and other whales; and next pigs. What matters is that researchers insist that the pig is a bright animal, very sensitive, and is treated to his damage because it may be used and abused by many marked with much lack of compassion.

Hogs are much humbled

Ancient Hebrews had many stern custums. One was not to eat pigs. It could have served the pigs. However, in the Greek culture they loved pig flesh and herded pigs for their flesh. To love well is different. Nowadays pig sties on unhappy farms function according to the pattern of "concentration camps" in that trapped beings are put there to serve and die and be made use of -

In a Wider Perspective

Swine are held by the Egyptians to be unclean beasts. . . . Swineherds, though native born Egyptians, are alone of all men forbidden to enter any Egyptian temple; nor will any give a swineherd his daughter in marriage, nor take a wife from their women; but swineherds intermarry among themselves. (Herodotus, The Histories)

Keep alert to the overriding goings in the human world. It is possible that the way humans treat others might rebound on themselves in the long run.

Tactless remarks compare men with pigs and swine rather negatively. Often, some knowledge of pigs and humans may change those attitudes.

Sillies may love pets more than others of their own kind, but swine think otherwise, generally speaking. They love their own kind and may stick together in family groups and flocks of belonging too. But awkward human beings do not regulate their partners and breeding patterns well. As a result, bonds, groups and family "herds" are drifting apart, if not torn asunder.

Also, as people have given their animals cramped living conditions to try to get more profit from them, people in urban areas are given cramped conditions and pay too. Many are made use of, and do not understand. Also, there are at present (2017) hundreds of thousands of men that serve as milk cows in Scandinavia. They are milked of many resources after partnerships break, and paying alimony is not all of it.

Considering the human fare these days, maybe there are too good reasons not looking down on pigs in the wild and abuse their names

Find your level, pick your choice and let it speak of you

1. The highest is to let pigs be pigs, free. "If you really love somebody in your care, enable them for a rewarding, all right life first, and let them leave, if they so desire." If they want to be left alone as far as can be, that has to be respected as long as they do not endanger themselves, others, or valuables. Children may be taught not to gamble with these three handy guideposts too.

2. The second highest is to strive for good animal habitats and animals righs, and animals cannot do that towards people. But decent people can, and we are improving. By letting pigs be pigs in pig habitats, no great problems need to occur. That could be good for many home-owners and pigs. "Live and let live" requires such tact.

5. Further down the scale of use and abuse, the pig is made use of for profit: Farming excels in much "industrial" handling and coping that humiliates and debases other beings - and thereby the farmers or their families themselves, it may be halfway guessed. People harden their hearts to their own future harm - many and severe impoverishments.

7. Finally, the pig is slaughtered/murdered and the corpse eaten under the cover of another name, like pork.

"Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired," Mark Twain recapitulates. But the pig was made earlier . . .


Pigs, pig sounds, pig proverbs, pigs quotations and history, Literature  

Beyer, Horst, and Annelies Beyer. Sprichtwörterlexikon: Sprichwörter and Sprichwörterliche Ausdrücke aus Deutchen Sammlungen vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zus Gegenwart. München: Bech, 1985.

Cohen, Edmund D. C. G. Jung and the Scientific Attitude. New York: Philosophical Library, 1975.

Dasa, Sahadeva. We Feel Just Like You Do. Np: Soul Science University Press, 2012.

EB: Encyclopædia Britannica, ie, Britannica Online.

Fergusson 2001: Fergusson, Rosalind. The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983. ⍽▢⍽ A revised and enlarged second edition is of 2001.

Holm, Pelle. Ordspråk och talesätt. Stockholm: Bonniers, 1973.

Masson, Jeffrey M. The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals. Reprint paperback ed. New York: Ballantine Books, 2004.

Mieder, Wolfgang (main ed.), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Pigs, pig sounds, pig proverbs, pigs quotations and history, To top Section Set Next

Pigs, pig sounds, pig proverbs, pigs quotations and history USER'S GUIDE: [Link]
© 1998–2017, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil. [Email]  ᴥ  Disclaimer: [Link]