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Pig Sounds, Quotations, Proverbs and Pig Intelligence
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Pig Quotations and Sounds

"Oink." - English pig

"I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." - Sir Winston Churchill, attr.

"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

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

"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).

An over-fat swine is the cause of his own bane (Fergusson 1986, 103. mod.).

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

"Give a hog a bad name and hang him". There is a subtle play on words here. (T. K.) [Strip].


The Underestimated Animal to the Rescue

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 M. Masson, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals.

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)

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

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 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).

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


Some Sad Facts

"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)

The phrase "If you are fond of animals, you don't make them suffer and then eat them" could work some good. For some vegetarians it does.

Pigs are marked by brightness and may be taught to shepherd sheep. In many ways they are much like us humans.

Humans have a long history of making use of animals, often thwarting their main ways of life and freedom by limiting outlets and removing much that naturally suits them. The cramped living in "pig factories" speaks of it.

Against violent animal abuse there are conservation ideas and laws too. Wild animals need space (habitat) to keep alive - often in competition with humans.

Research into animal behaviour tells us they have been much underestimated - and pigs are such animals too. 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. However, pigs or swine were made to be their own.

A Computer User, Babe

Professor Stanley Curtis has researched pigs. A study involved joystick-handling of easy computer games, where dogs and pigs were allowed to show off. After two weeks of easygoing adjustments, pigs excelled. The two pigs in the study, Omelett and Hamlet, were about as good as chimpanzees.

We can look on pigs as

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.

Yet, 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 - which is 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.


Pigs in a Further Perspective

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

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. Also, pigs may survive their first Christmas, if given a reasonable chance.

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 differently. What matters is that researchers have confirmed 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 a fondness for pork and bacon and not the whole, living animal. To love pigs well is to love whole animals and see to it that their living quarters allow for pig quality living if you cannot set them free responsibly and well enough.

In a Wider Perspective

It may happen that rotten ways that humans treat others might rebound on themselves in the long run.

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. Consider the urban fare of humans these days.

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

1. It might work for good to strive for good animal habitats and animals righs. Animals probably cannot do something similar for urban dwellers.

2. Where pigs or children are made use of for profit, people harden their hearts.

3. A 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


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.

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.

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