Home Columns Anantha Narayan Think pig

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One of Gabbar Singh’s favourite expletives was ‘suar ke bacche’ (progeny of swine).

Logically speaking, it should have never gained traction as a filthy cuss word as the pig, supposedly, is a very clean animal.

They say, even a new-born piglet will leave its nest and go to a makeshift toilet nearby within hours of birth, unlike us humans who created an entire diaper industry with our propensity to wet our pants at unannounced hours.

Sadly, despite a wealth of information available to the contrary, the pig is a much-slandered beast.

In the ’60s and ’70s, feminists labelled men who regarded women as an inferior species as ‘male chauvinistic pigs’.

The P in MCP was not an allusion to the hoofed mammal with a flat snout. It was in fact a derogatory British slang for ‘policemen or authoritarian men’.

‘Lazy pig’ is another myth that deserves to be busted.

Pigs are caged or kept in a pen with other pigs. They have no option but to lie around in the little space they’re provided. If they had the privileges of a solo pet, they’ll be as adorable and active as dogs because pigs are supposed to have an IQ of a three-year-old and they can run a mile in just about seven minutes!

Wallowing in the mud is often cited as one more reason for the negative perception of the swine. But the poor thing has no say in the matter, as it doesn’t have sweat glands.

To control its temperature, the pig has to spend a lot of time in murky waters.

So dirty, stupid, fat and ugly, they are not.

In fact, the billion-odd pigs on the planet have up to 185 uses ranging from the production of insulin to giving the shampoo its pearl-like appearance.

Apart from serving as bacon, pork, or ham, the pig has also come in handy in over 60,000 human heart transplants worldwide.

Although the piggy bank is the most adorable advertisement for the sus scrofa domesticus, the animal has no connection whatsoever with the savings habit.

There’s a nice story behind its deployment. And it concerns an orange-coloured clay called ‘pygg’.

During the Middle Ages, metal was very expensive. So money was stored in clay pots made from ‘pygg’.

The Europeans referred to them as ‘pygg pots’. With time, when English craftsmen got instructions from their masters for replication of the pygg pot, they took it literally and crafted the first piggy bank. Now that you’ve hogged on a whole lot of porcine stuff, how about adopting one as a pet?

Got any pig-tailed trivia to share? Oink them out to anantha@albertdali.com

- Anantha Narayan

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