Tribute and Acclaim

Quotations concerning pigs
and some fine slops

spinning pig

The pig is a grand character in much of human’s cultural history. Thinkers eminent and obscure have considered the pig. Perhaps the appeal is to those who wanted to praise the humanity in animals along with the animality in men.

Regardless, I have gathered here some fine slops concocted of other thinkers choicest morsels, and nothing but the bucket that holds them all is mine own.

Daniel E. Schultz, Editor

A pig is a jolly companion,
Boar, sow, barrow, or gilt —
A pig is a pal, who’ll boost your morale,
Though mountains may topple and tilt.
When they’ve black balled, bamboozled, and burned you,
When they’ve turned on you, Tory and Whig,
Though you may be thrown over by Tabby and Rover,
You’ll never go wrong with a pig, a pig,
You’ll never go wrong with a pig!

Thomas Pynchon (b. 1937)
U.S. author. Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)

DEDICATED… to the millions of porkers who’ve gone to their final resting sites inside us, and to the ghosts of still billions more pigs who’ve long since passed away down the throat of time. I’d like to call them all by name, but the list is long and I cannot remember.

William B. Hedgepeth
U.S. author, columnist, editor and playwright. The Hog Book (1978), the author’s dedication.

What call you the town’s name where Alexander the Pig was born?

Alexander the Great.

Why, I pray you, is not pig great? The pig, or the great, or the mighty, or the huge, or the magnanimous, are all one reckonings, save the phrase is a little variations.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
English dramatist and poet. Henry V, Act 4, Scene 7. (c. 1599).

Pig is a beautiful word… The overwhelming conclusion is that pigs are pleasing. The earth would be poorer in so many ways without them.

Jack Denton Scott (b. 1918)
U.S. author. The Book of the Pig (1981).

The actual lines of a pig (I mean a really fat pig) are among the loveliest and most luxuriant in nature; the pig has the same great curves, swift yet heavy, which we see in rushing water or in a rolling cloud.

G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
British author, journalist and critic. The Uses of Diversity (1920).

The long perfect loveliness of sow.

Galway Kinnell (b. 1927)
U.S. poet. “Saint Francis And The Sow” from Mortal Acts, Mortal Words (1980).

Whoever has looked into the eye of a shrewd old sow should feel humility. It is a bright clear eye, more like the eye of a human than the eye of an animal. It looks at you quite directly, even with what might be called a piercing gaze. The look sizes you up, appraises you.

Louis Bromfield (1896-1956)
U.S. author and scientific farmer at his Malabar Farm in Ohio. “A Hymn to Hawgs” in Animals and Other People (1944).

I became completely enamored of her. There were good vibrations. Her eyes are so human too, like a Kennedy’s.

Jamie Wyeth [James Browning Wyeth] (b. 1946)
U.S. painter, in describing Dun-Dun, the subject in his oil on canvas painting “Portrait of Pig” (1970).

The love of pigs is an inborn thing… I have always thought wallowing was a nice quality.

Sarah Bowman
Canadian author and teacher. Pigs, A Troughful of Treasures with Lucinda Vardley (1981).

The excellence of hogs is fatness; of men virtue.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
U.S. statesman, author, printer and scientist. Poor Richard’s Almanack (1736).

When Charlotte’s web said SOME PIG, Wilbur tried hard to look like some pig. When Charlotte’s web said TERRIFFIC, Wilbur had tried to look terrific. And now that the web said RADIANT, he did everything possible to make himself glow.

E.B. White (1899-1985)
U.S. essayist, author and authority on prose styles. Charlotte’s Web (1952).

I never had so much fun in my life as when I was in the field with that pig. He was a smart little rascal and anybody could see he was partial to me.

Larry Callen
U.S. children’s author. Pinch (1975).

The last charge ~ he leads a dirty life.
Here I could shelter him
With noble and right-reverend precedents,
And show by sanction of authority
That ’tis a very honorable thing
To thrive by dirty ways. But let me rest
On better ground the unanswerable defense
The pig is philosopher who knows
No prejudice. Dirt? Jacob, what is dirt?

Robert Southey (1774-1843)
British poet and author. “The Pig” (1799).

As anyone knows who has ever had anything to do with pig-keeping, pigs are clever animals. They are not only intelligent, they are extremely adaptable and highly capable of affection for human beings and even of devotion.

Edward S. Hyams (1910-1975)
English broadcaster, journalist, novelist, poet, translator, wine expert and gardener. Animals in the Service of Man (1972).

Nature has played some weird tricks on the pig. It has taken a creature with a brain thought to be inferior only to primates, endowed it with copious amounts of lard, and made it walk on the animal equivalent of high heels.

Steven Hall
U.S. author.

I have a friendly feeling toward pigs generally, and consider them the most intelligent of beasts… I like his disposition and attitude towards all creatures, especially man… He views us through a totally different, a sort of democratic, standpoint as fellow citizens and brothers, and takes it for granted, or grunted, that we understand his language. And without servility or insolence he has a natural, pleasant, camerados-all or hail-fellow-well-met air with us.

W.H. Hudson (1841-1922)
British naturalist and author. The Book of the Naturalist (1919).

I like pigs and I honestly believe that most pigs like me… Against all who besmirch them, I stand ready to speak in their defense even on the floor of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress.

Fred Schwengel (1907-1993)
Republican Congressman from Iowa (1954-1964 and 1966-1973).

Then the pigs are a race unjustly calumniated. Pig has, it seems, not been wanting to man, but man to pig. We do not allow him the time for his education, we kill him at a year old.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
British poet, essayist, biographer, lexicographer and critic of English literature. Life of Johnson by James Boswell, Johnson’s biographer (1791).

The fact is, compared to pigs, we humans are unforgivably slow to learn from pragmatic experience.

Karl Schwenke
U.S. author. In A Pig’s Eye (1985).

Every pig is different… And I swear they smile at you.

Nancy Everman
Member of the Iowa Pork Producer’s Association.

The natural term of a pigs life is little known, and the reason is plain — because it is neither profitable nor convenient to keep that turbulent animal to the full extent of its time: however, my neighbor, a man of substance, who had no occasion to study every little advantage to a nicety, kept an half-bred Bantam sow… to the seventeenth year…

From long experience in the world this female had grown very sagacious and artful: when she found occasion to converse with a boar she used to open all the intervening gates, and march, by herself up to a distant farm where one was kept; and when her purpose was served would return by the same means.

Reverend Gilbert White (1720-1793)
British naturalist and ornithologist. The Natural History of Selborne (1789).

Evolving from an antebellum economic necessity, dietary mainstay, and component in agrarian cultural rituals to a modern symbol, the hog has demonstrated remarkable adaptability.

S. Jonathan Bass
“How ’bout a Hand for the Hog: The Enduring Nature of the Swine as a Cultural Symbol in the South” in Southern Cultures, Volume 1, No.3, Spring 1995.

The essence of the ‘Hog Series’ can be related to the series of works Velazquez created depicting the jesters and dwarves of King Phillip IV’s court. Velazquez portrayed these subjects as equals to their master. I have tried to portray hogs with dignity and respect, while at the same time revealing and sharing some of my past personal experiences.

Tarleton Blackwell (b. 1956)
The artist’s statement to accompany his Asheville Art Museum exhibition in 1992.

[The pigs in Britain] live abroad in the woods and are remarkable for their height, strength and swiftness — indeed, it is as dangerous to approach them as the wolf.

Strabo (63? BC-24? AD)
Greek geographer, historian and philosopher. Geographica (c. 19 AD).

In the morning of today, when I was come part way to school, when I was come to the ending of the lane, I met a glad surprise. There was my dear pet pig awaiting for me. I gave him joy pats on the nose, and I did call him by name ten times. I was so glad to see him. Being as I got a late start to school, I didn’t have enough time to go around by the pig-pen for our morning talk. And there he was awaiting for me, at the ending of the lane. And his name it is Peter Paul Rubens.

Opal Whiteley (1897-1992)
Nature writer and diarist famous for her childhood journal, The Story of Opal: The Journal of an Understanding Heart, originally published in serial form by the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1920.

The work of teaching and organizing the others fell naturally upon the pigs, who were generally recognized as being the cleverest of the animals.

George Orwell (1903-1950)
British socio-political author. Animal Farm (1945).

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A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.