Vegans have recently launched a campaign to highlight the intelligence of pigs and some other “farm animals”. I put “farm animals” in inverted commas because “farm” conjures up warm fuzzy images of the kind of farms we read about in our children’s books. This is a far cry from the intensive factory farms where animals are kept before being slaughtered, in the modern food industry.
Read about their campaign here.
I gave up eating pork about 20 years ago, because I read an article about the top ten most intelligent non-human animals. Pigs were ranked number ten on the list. All the others were either primates (such as chimps and gorillas) or cetaceans (whales and dolphins), whose intelligence is well-known and has been demonstrated in many research projects.
I thought that if pigs are more intelligent than dogs and horses, then I didn’t want to eat them. I know this is arbitrary, but I have a high regard for intelligence. How can I eat a sensitive animal that I can communicate with? I wouldn’t eat my dog, so why would I eat an animal who is more intelligent than her?
I wish I could find the article because I would like to know more about how they measured the intelligence of these animals. Measuring intelligence is extraordinarily difficult, and often we don’t realise a species is intelligent until we find a way to train and communicate with the animal. A friend who raised pigs said that when she trained them, they were far quicker on the uptake than any dog she had ever trained.