As part of his show My Life As An Animal, Richard da Costa spends four days living with pigs. And as he they warm up to each other, he gains some insight into the the social lives of pigs – and how much of an animal they can be in a factory-like pigsty, as opposed to living in the great outdoors where they get to pig out at their heart’s content.
I was visited by an expert who taught me some piggy “vocabulary” and that led to some real breakthroughs. At times they were sucking my toes and nibbling my ear, which is apparently a sign of real affection. I returned the compliment once or twice. […]
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Outdoors, they were real animals, putting their snouts into mud rather than concrete, having to cross a field for a munch rather than having it in their bedding area, having a trough to jump up to, rather than being drip-fed from a convenient water bottle. […]
When I saw a pig scratch its ear with its hind leg I was amazed – the indoor pigs couldn’t physically have done that. Yes, their lives would also be short but what a difference a field makes. […]
One of the main things I learnt was how grotesquely efficient we are when it comes to the production of cheap meat – from the production-line seeding and breeding at the pellet-pushing pig-penitentiary which was the intensive unit I called home, through to the mechanised killing machine that was the abattoir.
We have selectively bred and overfed these animals so that the product – meat – is cheaper than cheese and everybody’s happy. To be forced to have to connect with our pink pals made me appreciate how disconnected from it all we have conveniently become.