Pigs are just as smart as dogs? Maybe not, but a new project is aiming to highlight research showing that the animals we eat are smarter than we think.
The Someone Project, launched by a collection of animal-welfare advocates, is tasked with bringing attention to findings that pigs, cows, and even chickens are smarter and have more emotions than people think. The hope, says The Associated Press, is that more people
will view these tasty creatures with the same empathy with which they view dogs and cats.
Commenters on social networking sites were having a field day with the news.
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“But bacon, pork chops, are so tasty,” tweeted @JanieHar1.
“This shows why I have always wanted a pig,” tweeted @EffeySykes.
“If a cop gets offended that you called him a pig, just remind him that pigs are as smart as dogs,” tweeted @StephanieSits.
But The Someone Project isn’t laughing.
“When you ask people why they eat chickens but not cats, the only thing they can come up with is that they sense cats and dogs are more cognitively sophisticated than the species we eat — and we know this isn’t true,” Bruce Friedrich of Farm Sanctuary told the AP. “What it boils down to is people don’t know farm animals the way they know dogs or cats. We’re a nation of animal lovers, and yet the animals that we encounter most frequently are the animals we pay people to kill so we can eat them.”
The project’s lead researcher is Lori Marino, a lecturer in psychology at Emory University who has studied the intelligence of a number of mammals.
Both Marino and Friedrich are vegans.
“This project is not a way to strong-arm people into going vegan overnight, but giving them a fresh perspective and maybe making them a little uncomfortable,” Marino said.
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