Which expressions are true... And which ones are not?
- "Sweat Like a Pig"
Probably one of the most commonly used expressions having to do with pigs, many would be surprised to find out that this one is completely and entirely FALSE! Pigs lack the amount of sweat glands needed to use sweating as a method of keeping the body temperature cool and balanced. They are able to release a small amount of heat using passive diffusion, though it does not function the way sweat does in a human. In short, pigs hardly sweat at all!
- "Dirty As a Pig"
If you've ever visited a farm or even watched a film regarding pigs in a barn (Charlotte's Web), you've probably come to the conclusion that pigs are some of the dirtiest animals alive, as they seem to thoroughly enjoy rolling in mud. The truth is that pigs are instinctively clean animals- cleaner than household dogs. When carefully observed, one will notice that they often designate a specific corner to use as a toilet, and keep their food and drink far from it as well. However, due to the fact that they do not sweat, they must have an alternative method of keeping cool, and in barnyard conditions, mud is usually the only option. This method of keeping cool is called behavioral thermoregulation, and has absolutely nothing to do with the cleanliness of the animal itself. This also cancels out the expression, "Stink Like a Pig", because without mud, pigs have absolutely no odor. Many people who own pot-belly pigs as pets provide a small kiddie-pool in the backyard for the pig to wade in and keep cool rather than rolling in mud, and the pigs actually prefer this.
- "Pig Out"
After reading the first two, you're probably doubting the credibility of this expression as well. If so, you are wrong. Pigs love eating, and they will do almost anything for food! Though pigs are the fifth smartest animals on the planet (after humans, monkeys, dolphins, and whales), it is difficult to train them or get them to perform tricks unless an edible reward is offered. Pigs have a real passion towards eating, and there are stories of pet pigs who have learned to open the pantry or the refrigerator in order to get themselves a snack, or "pig out". A farm hog can weigh over 1000 pounds, while a pet pig (usually a pot-belly) can weigh up to 150 pounds.
- "When Pigs Fly"
... Times are changing!