People around the country are celebrating National Pig Day for the 40th year in a row. March 1st is National Pig Day! Whether you decide to celebrate pigs because they are one of our most intelligent animals or because they taste so good, set aside some time to recognize the part pigs play in all of our lives.
Here are some fun facts about pigs, ways to celebrate Pig Day here in Arizona, and a couple great pork recipes to try with your family.
- Pigs are smarter than most other animals including dogs.
- Many people think pigs are dirty animals because they like to roll around in the mud. However, pigs are actually very clean. They roll around in the mud because they lack sweat glands; the mud helps cool them off and protect them from getting sunburnt.
- Pigs have an excellent sense of smell and can even smell things that are buried several feet underground. In some places, police departments use pigs to help sniff out drugs and they have been used to sniff out mines during wartime.
- Unlike other animals, pigs don’t generally have a problem with fleas or ticks because of their thick skin. These pests find it too difficult to bite them and therefore leave them alone.
- Pig and hog are terms often used to describe people who are aggressively greedy because of how competitive and aggressive piglets are when trying to get food from their mother.
- Pigs often appear to be tiptoeing when they walk because they only walk on two of their four toes, but when they run, they are fast, averaging about a 7 minute mile.
- On average, a sow will have 8-12 piglets in one litter and can have 1-3 litters a year. Piglets weigh an average of 3 pounds each.
- Pigs generally live for about 15 years and eat about 5 pounds of feed a year. This means that a pig can eat 15 tons of food during its life.
- China has more domestic pigs than any other country even though Denmark has 2 pigs for every person.
- Pork is the meat eaten the most around the world.
- A common practice in pig sales from the 1600’s provided us with two sayings that remain common today. When someone tells you not to “buy a pig in a poke” they are advising you to make sure you know what you are getting for your money. This comes from the practice of selling someone a piglet tied up in a bag that actually turned out to be a cat. The second phrase we got from this trickery? “Letting the cat out of the bag”.
What to do on Pig Day
Here in Arizona, there are many ways to celebrate National Pig Day. Whether you choose to honor pigs by eating them or not eating them, you are sure to find something on this list that will be fun for the family.
- Visit a local farm and learn about raising pigs
- Go to one of our great local zoos and visit the pigs.
- Have a pig parade where everyone wears pink and shows off their best pig-related collectibles like piggy banks, glass figurines, or even actual pigs they keep as pets.
- Have a pig-themed family movie night with a double-feature of Charlotte’s Web and Babe. (It’s probably a good idea to celebrate pigs and not pork when choosing this option).
- Donate time or money to an organization or farm that participates in pig rescue.
- Sponsor the donation of a pig to an undernourished family in a developing area of the world through an organization like Heifer International or World Vision.
Pork Recipes Worth Celebrating
- America’s Favorite Pork Chops
- Baked Pork Chops and Apples
- Barbecue Pork Skillet
- BBQ Pork Salad with Fruit and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Fettuccine and Ham Salad
- Honey Pepper Chops
- Honey Orange Glazed Ham
- Italian Cupboard Soup
- Mexican Pork and Bean Soup
- Mushroomy Pork Chops
- Mustard Crusted Pork Roast
- Old Mexico Style Pozole
- Peachy Pork Picante
- Pepper and Pineapple Pork Stew
- Pork Loin Cutlets with Goat Cheese & Apricot Stuffing
- Quick Pork Fajitas
- Rasher or Buckboard Bacon Burger
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Zesty Papa Protein Scramble
- It’s National Pork Month: Go Hog Wild! (fillyourplate.org)
- Let’s Talk Tomatoes (fillyourplate.org)
- 5 Simple New Year Resolutions for a Healthier Diet (fillyourplate.org)