Thomas Ramey Watson

Bekoff on pigs

I like pigs.

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A few years ago I had the great pleasure of meeting Geraldine, a rescued potbellied pig, on a visit to Kindness Ranch, a sanctuary that rescues and rehabilitates former laboratory animals.

Geraldine behaved as a companion dog, leaning into me as I rubbed her back and flipping over on her back as I rubbed her belly. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could do anything that would cause her to suffer.

We can learn a lot of positive lessons from pigs about loyalty, trust, friendship, compassion, and love if we open our hearts to them. Calling someone a pig is really a compliment.

Pigs are very intelligent, highly social, and deeply emotional animals.

They display many different personalities.

There’s even scientific research that shows that pigs can be optimists or pessimists depending on whether they live in enriched environments or places where there’s continuous stress and suffering. Pigs are sentient beings who

are capable of suffering incredible pain.

They not only suffer their own pain, they also see, smell, and hear the pain of others. We grossly underestimate animal suffering and many argue that their pain is worse than ours in that they don’t know when it’s going to end, it’s interminable, and they can’ t ra

tionalize it. All they know is what they’re feeling at the moment and it’s endless psychological and physical abuse.

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