Study: Pigs Can Be Optimists and Pessimists

A recent Washington Post article discusses a new study by researchers at the University of Lincoln in England who found that pigs can see the glass half full, or half empty.

The study concluded that pigs’ personalities combine with their moods to make them optimists or pessimists. While scientists had already observed this in humans, this is the first study to demonstrate it in an animal.

Lisa Collins, a co-author of the study, describes how a pig’s personality type, like a human’s, really affects outlook.

Collins explains:
With commercial animals being raised in huge numbers, the tendency is to look at them as a member of a group — not like clones, but like they’re all very similar and they’ll all respond in very similar ways. And what this research shows us is that absolutely isn’t the case.
This isn’t the first study to show that pigs are complex creatures. Research shows pigs have higher IQs than dogs, chimpanzees, and even three-year-old humans. In fact, they’re considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world.

A recent study by the same group at the University of Lincoln in England found that pigs grunt to communicate. The sounds they make convey a wide range of information, such as emotional, motivational, and physiological states.

In addition to being smart, pigs have excellent object-location memory. If they find grub in one spot, they’ll remember to look there next time. They also possess a sophisticated sense of direction, finding their way home from huge distances away.

While it’s great to acknowledge that pigs are intelligent, intelligence should not be a benchmark for how we treat animals. All animals, including farmed animals, are sentient beings who experience a spectrum of emotions.

Keep pigs and all animals off your plate by switching to a compassionate vegan diet.

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