The intelligence of pigs

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Between 2000 and 2010, the keeping of pigs as pets became popular in Western nations, which, paradoxically, include this meat in their diet in a general way. After years of coexistence we have witnessed many cases in which these pets had saved their owners. Others had learned behaviors that until then were not considered typical of this group of animals.

All this has made us question his degree of intelligence as well as his emotional abilities. Therefore, recent studies have provided more data to the intelligence of pigs. Discover everything that has been studied on this topic in this AnimalWised article. You'll be surprised, ¡guaranteed!

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  1. Why was there no consideration towards his intelligence until now?
  2. Suspicions of his unknown intelligence
  3. The perception of consciousness
  4. Intelligence comparable to a three-year-old

Why was there no consideration towards his intelligence until now?

The main historical point for not estimating the intelligence of this group of animals is that they form an important part of the Western diet. For our society it's not ethical include in the diet animals that we consider intelligent. An example of this are dogs or dolphins, animals that no one questions their intelligence and to most of society it seems aberrant to think about including them in the diet.

What the pig is seen as food, We breed it in industrial quantities to supply the population. This makes the perception that we have of them is of dirty animals, crammed in their own excrement. But this fact is only one consequence of captive breeding conditions, and not a natural behavior of pigs.

Suspicions of his unknown intelligence

By observing their behaviors, it is easily appreciated that they are curious and intuitive animals. Who prepare the bed and who use the mud to refresh and take care of their skin during the day. This skin care is especially important in hairless animals, such as elephants or rhinos. And not a dirty act as historically given to pigs.

In rural areas there has always been a greater integration of animals in the daily life of society. The pigs, like the rest of the cattle, are taken daily from the stables to graze or go in search of food and at night they are taken back to the stable where they spend the nights as refugees. Well, in many testimonies collected, the pigs established their routes and voluntarily returned to the night shelter, while the bovine cattle had to be driven..

There are cases of pigs that have been famous in their villages, even being pardoned. The pig used in truffle hunting, he must be trained not to eat the truffle when he finds it and wait for the reward. The training method is the same as that practiced in dogs.

The perception of consciousness

The fact of perceiving the conscience of the individual itself is something that for years was considered unique to humans, as a characteristic of a rational being, capable of thinking and being aware of its own existence. Most animals act guided by primal instincts without realizing whether they have a will of their own or not..

Recognizing yourself in a mirror is an advanced level of perception, bestowed on dolphins and macaques. Research by Dr. Donald Broom at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) affirms that the domestic pig is able to recognize himself. They also experience a wide range of emotions, being able to feel love or fear among others..

Intelligence comparable to a three-year-old

Pig experiments have reached a very high level of complexity. In which they are encouraged to solve difficulties that can only come out if they reconstruct mental images of the problem. Later they mentally look for the solution before putting it into practice.


  • They can manipulate a remote control to get the result they want.
  • They are able to memorize long journeys in search of something they already know.
  • They can decipher riddles through a mirror that reflects the image.
  • In chasing games with two individuals, it happens that when one discovers the enigma, the other chases it first, but the first tries to trick him to get all the reward for himself..

These types of skills are positioned by experts in human brain development from 3 years of age.

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