Pigs are on par cognitively with other animals that are considered to be highly intelligent, according to a recently published paper.
Instead of presenting new findings, it pulls observations from numerous existing studies that have been able to show just how capable pigs are. For example, they can navigate mazes, engage in play fighting, and move a joystick that is linked to a computer cursor.
They are highly social animals in terms of knowing how to cooperate and learn from each other, as well as being able to show empathic responses to a companion.
Evidence has shown that food is a big motivator for pigs, as they can use mirrors and reflections to uncover stashes, and they also know to follow others who seem knowledgeable about possible locations.
Based on this evidence, a neuroscientist who was part of the review has likened pigs’ mental capacities to that of “dogs, chimpanzees, elephants, dolphins, and even humans.”
However, it is worth noting that the authors have a pro-animal rights point of view, and one of their goals is to expand the perception of pigs beyond providing meat.