Pigs are friendly and very smart. In fact, they are the smartest of all the farm animals. Pigs are more intelligent than dogs and cats. Some scientists believe that pigs are as smart as a three-year-old human child. Pigs can figure out how to open and shut gates or push on a lever to get food or a drink of water. They have been taught many skills such as tumbling, to race against one another, to dance, to hunt and to pull carts. Pigs have good memories and can even play simple video games by manipulating the joy stick with their snouts.

Pigs are naturally clean animals. When they can get a shower of clean water, pigs prefer it to a roll in the mud. Pigs are not naturally dirty, and they do not defecate in their living areas, unless they are confined and have nowhere else to go. When pigs live in fields and in their natural habitat, they use their free time to lie in the sun, play and explore. Their sense of smell is as strong as that of dogs.

You may have heard that pigs eat a lot and will overeat whenever they can. This is pretty much a myth. Many pigs only eat until they have had enough food. Then they stop eating. (Many people can’t control their appetites and will eat too much if a lot of food is placed in front of them.) To get pigs to eat more, farmers feed them a chemical that makes them eat much more than they would normally.

Pigs have social relationships with other pigs. They have families and friends. People have recognized up to 20 different sounds that pigs make which mean different things. Pigs suffer when they are crowded together in small pens, when they are crated up to be moved to the slaughterhouse, and when they are killed. 97% of the pigs raised in the United States are raised in factory farms.