Monday, November 23, 2009

Another reason to not eat pork

I've mentioned before that I do not eat pork, as I consider it wrong given the pig's level of intelligence. Now some recent research suggests pigs may be able to pass the mirror test for self-awareness.

In the current issue of Animal Behaviour, researchers present evidence that domestic pigs can quickly learn how mirrors work and will use their understanding of reflected images to scope out their surroundings and find their food. The researchers cannot yet say whether the animals realize that the eyes in the mirror are their own, or whether pigs might rank with apes, dolphins and other species that have passed the famed “mirror self-recognition test” thought to be a marker of self-awareness and advanced intelligence.
Until reading this article I was unaware that one of the tricks pigs can be trained to do is to "make wordlike sounds on command." I'd like to hear/see that.

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