Unfortunately, due to speciesism (the discrimination of species) and carnism (the ideology that supports the use and consumption of animal products), many people around the world have been raised to believe that certain animals deserve moral consideration, whereas others do not.
In addition to this, there is a general lack of understanding of the sentience of animals and whether they can actually feel pain, suffer, and experience emotions. A good example is how different cultures view and treat dogs and pigs. This post aims to explore this issue further and improve our knowledge of these two animals.
The following is a list of similarities between dogs and pigs:
1) Can feel pain: [✓] Dogs [✓] Pigs [Source 1]
5) Land mammals: [✓] Dogs [✓] Pigs
6) Likes to be petted or stroked: [✓] Dogs [✓] Pigs [Source 1]
8) Want to live, free of pain and cruelty: [✓] Dogs [✓] Pigs
9) Primarily eaten in Western countries: [ ] Dogs [✓] Pigs
10) Primarily eaten in some Eastern countries e.g China: [✓] Dogs [ ] Pigs [Source 1]
Since dogs tend to be better understood, particularly in Western countries, here is a list of some interesting pig facts: (Source: https://www.peta.org/features/dog-pig/)
- Pigs dream and see in color.
- Pigs outperform 3-year-old human children on cognition tests and are smarter than any domestic animal, and animal experts consider them more trainable than cats or dogs.
- Pigs are naturally slender. They only become fat when humans overfeed them.
- Pigs are sociable. They like to cuddle and snuggle up, nose to nose, with one another as they sleep.
- In the wild, pigs live in matriarchal societies, as elephants do.
- Piglets love to chase each other, play-fight, and roll down hills.
- Pigs can be picky eaters: When given the same food, even a favorite one, such as melon or banana, over and over, they will soon set them aside and eat their other food first. When pigs are offered a new food, they don’t gobble it right up, as a dog might, but sniff at it delicately as they decide whether or not to try a nibble.
- Pigs are hygienic. When given the chance, they are more particular about their sanitary behavior than most dogs. They will not, unless locked inside a factory-farm cage, defecate anywhere near their living space.
- Pigs roll in mud to cool down and ward off parasites and sunburn, just as elephants do.
- More pig facts: https://imgur.com/2lNdsLS
We can clearly see that dogs and pigs are actually very similar in all the ways that matter. The primary difference is their appearance, and the fact that pigs are eaten in Western countries, whereas dogs are eaten in some Eastern countries. Vegans believe that both deserve moral consideration, and since we don’t need to exploit, harm, or kill either, then we shouldn’t, and we should seek ethical alternatives instead.
Whenever nonvegans claim to be an animal lover, show them this post, and hopefully it will help them to make the connection.
“Sentience is the bedrock of ethics. The foundation of moral systems is that others matter.” ~ Jonathan Balcombe
“When we suffer, we suffer as equals, and in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig, is a bear, is a boy.” ~ Philip Wollen
“Speciesism: A failure, in attitude or practice, to accord any nonhuman being equal consideration and respect.” ~ Joan Dunayer
“Speciesism is the first form of hatred humans are taught. Way before racism, sexism, and heterosexism is taught, speciesism is the first form of hatred.” ~ Gary Yourofsky
“Just as we reject racism, sexism, ageism, and heterosexism, we reject speciesism. The species of a sentient being is no more reason to deny the protection of this basic right than race, sex, age, or sexual orientation is a reason to deny membership in the human moral community to other humans.” ~ Gary L. Francione