In our conversational speech, to call someone a pig, is considered an insult, but it was not always so. In Greek, the word pig is pronounced “gyus”, which in translation means “sacrifice”. This origin of the word is due to the fact that in Ancient Greece the pigs were one of the main offerings to the supreme deities. However, the most respectful attitude towards piglets was recorded by the Russian traveler Miklukho-Maklai.
As it turned out, the Papuans, catching a piglet, were very careful and reverent towards him. This was expressed not just in the feeding of a piglet with food, the animal became a literal member of the family. Particularly attached to small pigs to women, because in some cases they even fed small piglets with their breasts. Of course, such an attitude could not but affect the attitude of the Papuans to the slaughter of animals.
Kill and eat a member of the family is strictly forbidden, so the Papuans have found a way helping each other in a neighborly way. In addition, in the families of the Papuans, pigs were considered a measure of well-being and at the same time a source of family strife. The fact is that in the tribal way all the rights to pigs were men, but men only brought piglets to the house, and only women nursed them. From time to time, women tried to challenge their rights, in the end (again, according to tribal laws), a man should give a woman a decent gift for a well-fed pig.
In Russia, the attitude towards pigs is traditionally different from the Papuans’ relationship with New Guinea, but still the story has preserved some amusing facts. So in the XVIII century pigs felt quite free in Russian cities (especially in Siberia). In the archives of Tobolsk, the order of the city authorities to clean the city of manure has been preserved, as the city has become excessively dirty and a persistent unpleasant smell has appeared.
Pigs are domesticated by humans on the assumption of scientists about 7000 years ago. Nevertheless, pigs have preserved many of the animal instincts inherent in their wild relatives. So, there are data on the ability to navigate in space without a compass. One of the inhabitants of Yugoslavia bought a pig in the market, which at night destroyed its corral and went to the “old address”. The owner found the fugitive in 70 kilometers in the pig house of the old owner. Another case was recorded in Latvia. In Daugavpils, one citizen bought a five-day piglet, which literally “disappeared” from the house. As it turned out, the piglet ran to his old mistress, and for this he had to cross the river!
In addition to such curious facts it is known that pigs can be used for a variety of economic purposes. In France, with the help of specially trained pigs, fabulously expensive mushrooms – truffles – are searched. The pig is able to smell the mushroom under the ground at a depth of up to 16 centimeters. Pigs with their patch digging in mushrooms, and the owner can only collect them. Since the pigs have an excellent sense of smell in Israel, they began to use pigs as sappers. Especially effective are the pigs when searching for explosives under the ground. As experts say, pigs are more suitable for this job than dogs, since they are practically not distracted by external factors.
It is not surprising that in some countries the rights of pigs are guaranteed by law. In Germany, there is a law that obliges each pig farm owner to pay at least 20 seconds of attention to each pig, 10 seconds in the morning and 10 seconds in the evening. In addition, the farmer is obliged to give the pigs toys from time to time. They must be wooden or straw, so that they can be grasped with teeth. For pigs that are ill, a special infirmary with amenities should be arranged, for the speedy recovery of the animal. Maybe the Germans are cranks, and maybe not.
Interesting facts about pigs