Pigs have an awfully dreadful time in life.
Raised to be meat, their futures offer little other than the chance to eat slop, be mom and dad to a bunch of piglets, and then be shipped off to the slaughterhouse.
Who can blame them for once in a while wanting to cut free, cut loose, and have a few nips of alcohol when they get the chance? It may not change their lives’ outcomes, but at least it gives them a few moment of blurry bliss before getting the axe, right?
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Maybe that’s what was going through the “minds” of three hogs who broke out of their farm in a town in Siberia, Tyumen, to belly up to the bar at a local store last Sunday.
Unfortunately, human customers at the shop in Russia were not too sympathetic to the domestic hogs that escaped their captors and headed into town for a wee bit, sopping up cognac on the floors of a store where they’d broken a number of bottles.
One exasperated customer of the supermarket demanded to know, “Is this a pigsty, or a store, people?”
By the time the pigs had their fill of cognac, the owner had arrived, ready to round up the beasts and take them home. Not before they had a chance to become social media stars however; several folks took pictures and videos and posted the pigs’ performances online.
This is hardly the first time, or the only country, that has had pigs decide to indulge in a little hooch illegally. Last year, campers in Australia were astounded when a wild boar (the domestic pigs cousin) raided their campsite and drank a dozen or so beers.
In Italy, wild pigs are an ongoing problem, albeit not because they bust into bars or shops to drink, but because there are so many of them in the country and even in big cities like Rome.
Last year, one was photographed standing at a bus stop just outside Rome, as if he were waiting to catch a ride somewhere. Last year, farmers in Italy complained to government that wild pigs were wrecking crops, damaging fences, and causing other havoc in their fields.
The behaviour can seem brazen to people who prefer their pork solely on their plates, but in fact pigs — both wild and domestic — are extremely bright.
That’s why author H.G. Wells, in his novel Animal Farm, embodies the pig characters with all leadership skills and savvy in his narrative.
The writer’s pigs are at first smart and politically astute, but then (like so many politicians) become corrupt and unkind to the other animals who they are supposed to serve.
It’s a brilliant satire of modern society and political systems. He chose pigs for those characters for a good reason: zoologists say that pigs are the fifth most intelligent creature in all of the animal kingdom.
According to the animal information website onekindplanet.org, pigs “constantly communicate with each other. They have a range of different oinks, grunts and squeals that have different meanings.”
It’s hard to know what, if anything, the hogs in Russia were communicating to one another before they broke free and went on a bender. But suffice to say they had fun, hurt no one, and managed to have a wee sip of illicit alcohol before heading back to the farm.
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There, their fate is no doubt sealed, and they will soon be on the dinner menu at a local restaurant or in someone’s home. Their shenanigans gave them a moment of freedom and a moment of fun — who can argue that they probably deserved it, considering what lies in store for them?