Known as much for their pink curly tails and pudgy snouts as their lowbrow choices of diet and habitat, pigs are prevalent in modern culture - from the Three Little Pigs to Miss Piggy to Babe.
Humans and pigs have lived alongside each other since early pigs were domesticated 9,000 years ago, and we are facing a future in which pigs and humans will be even more closely intertwined as a result of biomedical breakthroughs and rising global pork consumption. In Pig, Brett Mizelle provides a richly illustrated and compelling look at the long, complicated relationship between humans and these highly intelligent, sociable animals, focusing on the contradictions between our idealized view of pigs and the truth of the ways in which pigs have been selectively bred to fulfil human desire for their meat and to make hundreds of consumer products. This book explores human kinship with pigs in the worlds of art, literature and entertainment, but also the history of the development of modern industrial pork production. Pig shows how humans have shaped the pig; and how the pig has shaped us in its turn.
‘the book is rich in hoggish lore’ – The Independent
‘[an] adept and focused history’ – TLS
‘Seeing this amazing animal disected - in a literary sense - is in equal parts fascinating and frustrating. Fascinating, because pigs are such wonderful animals, full of joie de vivre and intelligence. Frustrating, because this is essentially a history of our subjugation, exploitation and murder of pigs on an almost unimaginable scale . . . an accessible overview and often captivating’ – Resurgence
‘The ruthless exploitation of the domesticated pig is amply documented in Pig alongside other more appealing chapters chronicling the many roles played by pigs in language, folklore, literature and art . . . informative and interesting.’ – Veganviews
‘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
Brett Mizelle does not only presents facts, but writes in a vivid style with surprising facts . . . Brett Mizelle’s writing style is entertaining. Reading the book one considers the way people think of and treat not only pigs but animals in general.’ – Suiform Soundings
Brett Mizelle is Professor of History and Director of the American Studies Program at California State University, Long Beach.