Socially intelligent and emotionally sensitive pigs are relentlessly abused at factory farms

For me, and for many thousands of others, the relentless and heartless abuse of pigs throughout their lives is baffling and depressing. How can humankind be so heartless and ignorant? Well, we can and often are. Look at the pathetic ignorance and selfish behaviour behind global warming. Humankind in 2022 does not give a damn what their great grandchildren will have to endure in the second half of the 21st century when the planet is 3 degrees Celsius hotter. It is short-termism of the worst kind. The attitude of humankind can be despairing.

Pigs are sophisticated and smart
Pigs are sophisticated and smart. Image: Image by Roy Buri from Pixabay.
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So why have I mentioned pigs on a cat website? Because this is important. It is about sentience and how animals have emotions and a level of intelligence that humankind is only now realising. It is very late in the day. The way we treat pigs in factory farms indicates to me that the majority of people are ignorant of the pig’s intelligence, social skills and the complexity of pig society. All the more reason to feel sick at the sight of pigs crammed in factory farms and emotionally tortured.

A study conducted by Turin University and published in the journal Animal Cognition revealed the following about pigs:

  1. Pigs can get into fights involving pushing, shoving and biting over things such as access to a nice spot in the mud. After the fight and when they’ve calmed down, they make up. Both the aggressor and victim initiate the truce by rubbing noses and lying down next to each other. This happens more often with unrelated individuals. This is a way of maintaining friendships.
  2. A ‘third-party pig’ not involved in the fracas can sometime intervene to break up the fight. The third pig will put themselves in harm’s way to calm the situation down.
  3. Sometimes the victim in the fight would be approached after the fight by a third-party pig to comfort them. As a result, the victim was less likely to demonstrate signs of anxiety such as chewing with an empty mouth and scratching.
  4. Sometimes the aggressor individual would be approached by a third-party peacekeeping pig. The aggressor became noticeable less aggressive towards the victim and seemed to appreciate the advice.
  5. Giada Cordoni Norsica, the lead researcher said, “These are important and very complex abilities. What it suggests is they have the ability to be sensitive to the emotions and internal state of others, and then to react to somehow intervene and restore calm to the group”.

Giada Cordoni Norsica and colleague, Ivan Norsica, 104 free range pigs were observed at a farm at Parma Domus, Italy. As you can see they observed what happened before, during and after fights.

Humankind continues to behave in an arrogant an ignorant way towards animals at factory farms. Chicken are massively abused as well. We see them all lined up in foul pens all their lives. I remember seeing a video of a pet chicken waiting for their owner to return home in a car and as soon as she got out of the car the chicken raced down the long driveway to great her. It makes me sick to think how we abuse animals.

Below are some pages on sentience.

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