Year of the Pig: Decoding Some Myths

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As we celebrate a love (so many plush toys!) and hate (oh, the bacon and suckling whole pig!) relationship with this chubby animal, Lunar New Year is around the corner and it is finally Year of the Pig.

It was the first animal to be domesticated by the Chinese back in ~3400 BC. No wonder China is the leading country for pig consumption with 90 lbs. of pig per person annually. The first pig arrived to America ~1953. Scientists believe there were dinosaur pigs around 16.3 million years ago and they would have weighted around 1,000 lbs. and 7 feet tall. In ancient war times, pigs were used to scare off elephants since elephants couldn’t stand the squeals, which are technically louder than jet engine (a jet engine is at about 120 decibels and diesel engine is at 80, pigs are as loud as 130 decibels). Pigs also have a great sense of smell, making them a great weapon to sniff out land mines when dogs aren’t available.

Decoding some common pig phrases as Truth or Myth:

“Sweat like a pig” is myth, because pigs don’t have sweat glands.

“Eat like a pig” is truth, because they usually eat until they are completely stuffed, and they do eat almost everything.

“Dirty like a pig” is myth, because they tend to keep their area very clean and their “bathroom” activities far from where they eat or sleep.

“As happy as a pig in mud” is truth, because they don’t sweat, they keep themselves cool by rolling in mud.

Since pig farming is such a crucial way of living for this culture, the Vietnamese people have a folk phrase about pigs: “If you want to get rich, raise gilts, if you want to go broke, raise pigeons.”

In Asian culture, pig is the 12th animal in the zodiac cycle. People who are born in Years of the Pig are believed to be kindhearted, considerate, responsible, independent, optimistic, and would be wealthy people. Lucky numbers for people born in Years of the Pig are 2, 5, 8; lucky colors are yellow, grey, brown and gold.

Happy Year of the Pig, 2019!