Domesticated pigs evolved from Eurasian wild boars, Sus scofra. About 9,000 years ago, humans selected particular traits from these boars to keep; however, domestication was a long and varied process across the world. Interestingly, pigs – perhaps like many domesticated animals, did not follow a straightforward path from wild animal to farmyard domesticate. Like goats and dogs, there are many breeds of pigs today including heirloom breeds that harken back to previous traits that were favorable for pigs, like my friend here today who I met years ago in Coffee County, Georgia at General Coffee State Park.
Pigs have feelings too! Perhaps after a few weeks of March of Pigs you may have noticed that pigs are actually quite expressive. That’s because they feel a wide range of emotions, just like humans. Pigs can feel joy and happiness as well as suffer from negative emotions like sadness and grief. Pigs are not only emotional creatures, but have been observed to show compassion for others, and feel distress at seeing their animal and human friends suffering. They have distinctive personalities, some are shy and some are gregarious just like us. In addition to having excellent memories, it is very likely that pigs have complex feelings and thoughts, and are even able to understand symbolic languages similar to higher primates and dolphins. Amazing!
A friend of mine sent this photo along. It reminds me that even though things are totally upside down it is important to take care of yourself. Have a shower, enjoy a film, immerse yourself in a good book, call up an old friend, find an online fitness class, whatever you do to make you feel like you and help you get through.
In the UK, although we are in lockdown, we are encouraged to spend about one hour outside for exercise. We can either go alone, or go with other members of our household. In an otherwise difficult situation, I am grateful for the time. Getting outside and breathing the fresh hair is good for your physical and mental health, and it is essential to stay as active as possible. Just make sure to keep six feet from other people and you are good! Get out there and enjoy a little sunshine.
I suppose given the day’s events we can justifiably say, avoid shaking hands with one another for the time being. Although I hate to wish the virus on anyone, it seems somewhat fitting that after defying world health experts that some people ended up with the virus in the end after all. I would recommend taking different actions like elbow bumps; however, maintaining six feet or two metres distance precludes that as well.
So, for the weekend, perhaps plan the ultimate staycation. Please note, it’s ok to snuggle with those who you live with, although avoid touching anyone else and keep washing your hands!
It may seem like a strange thing to say, but during this time of social distancing, isolation and lockdowns make sure to rest. It is easy to think now that you are bound inside that you can get loads of work done, learn new things, and accomplish all sorts of things when the outside world was accessible. All of that is great, and I encourage you to challenge yourself, just so long as you take care of yourself as well. Keep washing your hands and stay safe.
Although you may be stuck inside, we are fortunate enough to live in times when we can still connect with one another. Maybe everyday take a moment to send a message to someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile, just to say hey. Cultivating connections will help us all get through this.
I hope if you are reading this now that you are safe and well and able to have everything you need to get through the next few weeks or months. Lockdown, quarantine or isolation can be pretty dreary, but luckily we live in times when we are all able to stay connected. Take care, friends and keep washing your hands.
Well, as the world is locking down and preparing for the great waiting out of the corona catastrophe, I once again am pausing March of Pigs to bring you a bit of history. I am not sure where this originated from, but one of my friends sent it along and it is too good not to share.
If you are reading this blog, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well and that you have a comfy place to shelter and access to all that you need to get through.
Happy Mother’s Day for UK moms (USA moms too, although Mother’s Day is observed in May across the Atlantic).
It is said that a pig is pregnant for three months, three weeks and three days. Typically, a Mama pig gives birth to about ten piglets, and she can have up to three litters per year! That’s a lot of piglets! It is advisable to keep male (boar) and female (sow) adult pigs separated to limit over-breeding.
Here is wishing all of the hard working mamas out there (all mamas are hard working mamas of course) a wonderful Sunday, hopefully inside, not going anywhere, and washing your hands.