While continuing to spread in the Americas, new cases of the swine flu have also just been reported in the UK, Japan, Australia, Formosa (Taiwan), Hong Kong, China, and Kuwait.
The total is now well over 12,000 confirmed cases across 43 countries, including 86 fatalities.Scientists from the UK’s Cambridge University and the US Centers for Disease Control are recommending increased monitoring of pig populations, saying that the virus has been circulating undetected for many years.
The swine flu has also placed factory farms under scrutiny and led to renewed discussions about raising pigs for food, as people question their unsanitary, cramped conditions.
In fact, some have come to view pigs as heartwarming animal companions that could never be consumed.
Richard and Laura Hoyle from Tennessee, USA, are two such persons who learned much more about these unique beings when they adopted Paddy Murphy in the 1980s.
Their experience with this pot-bellied animal companion led the couple to found the Pig Preserve, a rescue shelter for pot bellied pigs, former laboratory pigs and former factory farmed pigs.
In a phone interview, Mr. Hoyle described how he discovered porcine intelligence, when Paddy Murphy learned how to unlatch a gate to follow him, despite not having the hands nor the height to open it as he did.
Richard Hoyle (M): She could figure out how the gate worked, and she was able to go beyond that and say, “Okay, he uses hands, I don’t have hands. Now what?
How can I use my body to accomplish the same thing that he’s doing with his hands?” That shows me not only a lot of intelligence but the ability to do some basic reasoning.
SupremeMasterTV (F): They say like pigs are perhaps even smarter than dogs. Would you agree?
Richard Hoyle (M): I’ve got eight dogs and about 60 or 70 pigs here, and intelligence-wise I’ll take the pigs over the dogs, in terms of intelligence.
They are very intelligent, very social animals. They really enjoy people.One night I was carving a ham and Paddy Murphy was just kind of rooting around my feet and my toes.
And all of a sudden it was like a light bulb came on and said there’s absolutely no difference between the piece of meat on my plate and the wonderful little animal who’s rooting around my toes and untying my shoelaces, than size.
And I think at that point my wife and I both gave up eating pork, and within three or four months after that we were total vegetarians.
I just don’t see how anybody with any feelings or emotions at all can get to know a pig and continue to eat pork.
VOICE: Our deep gratitude, Mr. and Mrs. Hoyle for your compassionate service to our innocent pig friends, and for helping us to understand their delightful, intelligent company. As we sorrow for those who have suffered loss and continue to pray for the end of people’s suffering from the swine flu illness, we also look forward to
the time when all beings co-exist in health and harmony on Earth.