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If Pigs are as Smart as Dogs, Why Do We Eat Pigs and Keep Dogs as Pets

Why are some animals seen as food, and others are pets? Why do some people eat pigs, and some people eat dogs, while others keep them as pets?


Pigs are said to be as intelligent as dogs. In fact pigs are extremely trainable and some people do keep them as pets.

Dog meat is edible. Many people around the world do eat dog meat. In fact some places breed dogs in the same manner other places breed livestock.


If we were to look at pigs in a more natural setting, we would see they behave in a social structure very similar to dogs. Owners of pet pigs have reported them to be excellent pets, friendly, and as trainable as a dog. There are even stories of pet pigs (such as Lulu*) saving their owners lives. They have been observed to “play” video games, learn some sign language, and learn their own names.


Not all cultures eat pigs, some consider them “unclean”, or cannot eat them due to religious taboos, while others consider pigs tasty, severed up as pork, ham, bacon, and so forth. Some people decline to eat pig meat, for the reasons mentioned earlier, pigs are on par with dogs as far as being intelligent, sensitive, animals.


On the other hand, people have been eating dogs for centuries, probably since early domestication. Very likely the dogs which were not tame and social were used as food, in times of hardship, when other meat could not be found, the domestic dog was an easy source of food. We have to consider that early man probably did not see his dogs as “pets” in the same way we see them now.

photo source

As cultures diversified some had the luxury to see dogs as pets, however the pig, being less cute, or furry, somehow did not make the lucky transition from food source to pet in some areas. This is why some cultures see some animals as food, and others as pets.

It is worth noting that in Asia some dogs are kept as pets, while others are seen as food. Those who own dogs as pets would not dream of eating their own dog, but would eat another dog, that has been raised to be food.

Perhaps it is because pigs lack furry coats, sad eyes, and a big wagging tail, that has thrust them onto the dinner plate rather than onto our sofas and into our hearts…

Some reasons for not eating pork, other than the fact that pigs are as intelligent of dogs, and therefore equally deserving of humane treatment, is that they were seen as “dirty” animals, pigs will eat carrion (as will dogs), as well they have cloven hooves, but do not ruminate, leaving them forbidden from the menus of many religions.

Some reasons for not eating dog meat, other than the fact that dogs are sociable pets, is that they eat meat, in contrast most of our meat animals (other than fish, and fowl) are herbivores, making it less risky for us to get diseases from them. We may recall BSE that got its start when sheep were fed to cattle. In countries, such as China, where eating dog meat is more common people have contracted rabies from their meal.

It is more than a little hypocritical of a person who eats one type of meat, to judge a person who eats another type of meat.   After all… there are people who eat poop!

*Lulu, a pet pig, saved the life of her owner. When Lulu’s owner suffered a heart attack the pig went outside and sat in of traffic, eventually leading a motorist into the home where her owner lay.

Further Reading

PETA – Secret Lives of Pigs

The Truth about Teacup Pigs

Unusual Pets:  Potbellied Pigs

Dairy and Eggs are NOT Cruelty Free

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User Comments
  1. MaxBuceo

    On February 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Interesting. i like this post

  2. Ima Vee

    On February 17, 2011 at 12:06 am

    very well.. interesting…. here in our country, only few eat dogs, usually, they are used as pets…

  3. K Kristie

    On February 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Here in the Phils, eating dog meat is discourage because of rabies but still a few individuals still do especially men while drinking with their buddies.

  4. Minister Marlene

    On February 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

    I never, ever heard of people eating dogs. I don’t like it. It’s not right. But I quess cultures differ. Whatcha gonna do’! Love that Lu Lu! But rabies from eating a dog? Nasty buisness. You were so neutral on this one. I was waiting for that Brenda brand of fire.

  5. Purnomosidhi

    On February 17, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Some tribes in my country eat both pig and dog.

  6. UncleSammy

    On February 17, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Nice share see you around


    On February 17, 2011 at 2:37 am

    interesting post

  8. Inna Tysoe

    On February 17, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Thanks for that.

  9. lolontka

    On February 17, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Its true, that people tend to eat animals that don’t eat meat themselves but I had not thought of that before you mentioned it.
    I am glad that I am vegetarian as I would hate to eat a pig or a dog. To me its just not right morally.

  10. BruceW

    On February 17, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Early man might not have seen his dog as a pet in quite the way we do, as you say, but I reckon it would have been more of a partnership with a working dog, whether that be a hunting dog or a sheepdog. And when you form a partnership with an animal, companionship soon follows. How could you not be fond of your hunting dog if you were away for home for a few days on a hunting trip with only the dog as companionship? That’s worth more than as food!

  11. lillyrose

    On February 17, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Very interesting article. Lulu was a clever sensitive pig indeed. I think lots of meat eaters have a problem eating some animals that are often classed as pets. Horses, dog, rabbit, guinea pig etc just as they would have a problem killing the animal themselves for meat.

  12. Annie Hintsala

    On February 17, 2011 at 9:30 am

    a) Dogs are luckier.
    b) We don’t live in Vietnam

    Good article. I have known people who kept pot bellied pigs for pets, and wouldn’t dream of eating them. I agree with you that pigs have gotten a bad rap through religion and other various sources, but as a mid-western farm girl, the most dangerous place on a farm used to be the big pig pen. Most people don’t raise them like that anymore, but if there was one place that we were NEVER to go, was near enough to the pig pen that we might fall in. We were told, without apology or hesitation, that they would eat us. And we believed. I would hop the fence into the cattle and horses, play with the sheep and goats and chase chickens, but under no circumstances would I go into the pig pen. Smart enough to have a sense of self preservation I think.

  13. jemialbert

    On February 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    good share

  14. Ruby Hawk

    On February 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I don’t know the answer to that question, I don’t eat either of them and I don’t want either for a pet.

  15. PR Mace

    On February 18, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Well you make some good points but I really don’t know the answer. I eat pork and I don’t want a pig for a pet. I love my dogs and I don’t want to eat them.

  16. J M Lennox

    On February 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Its a fair question Benda, but I think you have answered all the questions with all the reasons for and against. I am from a country where we love our dogs, so I think I am biased. The thought of eating a dog to me is extremely distasteful and saddening.

  17. tiffi

    On February 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Interesting thought. I haven’t really given it a whole lot of thought myself.

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    On August 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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