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Curly tails, snouts, trotters, 'oinks', mud and unpleasant smells - these are the cliches of the pig. With their varied roles as sources of food, as pets and in medical testing, pigs have been materially and culturally associated with humans for thousands of years. Today there are more than one billion pigs on the planet, and there are countless representations of pigs and 'piggishness' circulating through the cultures of the world. Pig provides a richly illustrated, compelling look at the long, complicated relationship between humans and these highly intelligent, sociable animals. In his insightful book, Brett Mizelle traces the natural and cultural history of the pig, focusing on the contradictions between our imaginative representation of pigs and the ways in which pigs are actually used as meat, experimental material and the source of hundreds of consumer products. Pig begins with the evolution of the suidae, animals that were domesticated in many regions 9,000 years ago, and points toward a future where pigs and humans are even more closely intertwined thanks to breakthroughs in biomedical research.
Pig also examines the widespread art, entertainment and literature that has imagined human kinship with pigs, and the development of modern industrial pork production, which has removed living pigs from our everyday lives. In charting how humans have shaped the pig and how the pig has shaped us, Mizelle focuses on the unresolved contradictions between our imaginary and lived relations with pigs. Pig will appeal to those with a love for all things pig and for animals in general.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'the book is rich in hoggish lore' - The Independent '[an] adept and focused history' - TLS 'Pig by Brett Mizelle is one of the amazing "Animal" series ... richly illustrated with both colour and black and white historical photos and drawings, older advertisements, and just plain whimsy ... compelling reading' - Gothic Epicures