"Schnitzel", the pig
("Schnitzel" is the German word for "cutlet")
»Pigs are intelligent and very clean animals. It is a huge crime what people do with these precious animals.«
We asked Corinna and Tobias about their experiences with their domestic pig „Schnitzel“. This interview may help some “still-cutlet-trenchermen” to cause consideration.
Veg: Corinna, how did you get around to keeping a pig and not a dog or a cat?
Corinna: I always wanted to have a dog but this was not possible due to an allergy to the coat of cats and dogs. But I always wanted to have an animal to which I can establish a relationship and therefore I got a pig. Because a pig has bristles.
Veg: What kind of race is this pig?
Corinna: It is a Göttinger mini pig.
Veg: How old was he as you got him?
Corinna: He was just 6 ½ weeks and had a weight of 2 ½ kg.
Veg: Was he able to get familiar with the flat quickly or did he draggle everything?
Corinna: He made no dirt at all. At the beginning he was pretty anxiously but within 2 weeks he was very trusting.
Veg: Does he give you any signs if he needs to go for a slash? Or how does he call your attention?
Corinna: At the beginning he used the cat litter pan which Schnitzel found directly after his arrival by himself and he never made alongside. He was always completely clean. When he wants to go out, that means go for a walk, he notifies us.
Veg: In the meantime he is quite big. How old is he and how much does he weight?
Corinna: He is going to become 3 years next year in March and has now approximately 80 kg.
Veg: Despite his size you can let him in the flat?
Corinna: Yes, of course. That is no problem at all.
Veg: That means he is neither dirty nor does he smell?
Corinna: Not at all. I could have never imagined in the past. I always though that pigs are dirty animals. That is their image but it is just a preconception. It is really not true! I could have never imagined that a pig can be so clean. Some dogs have a really intense own smell, especially when they are wet. This is not the case with pigs. Not even if they are wet.
Veg: »Schnitzel« is a really peaceable animal. How can he communicate with you and how does he react on his name?
Corinna: Yes, he reacts on his name "Schnitzel" by all means.
Veg: How did you get around to choosing such a name?
Corinna: Everybody thinks that my pig "Schnitzel" is cute and sweet. Therefore I thought I am going to give him this name to cause consideration among the people when they eat a pork cutlet the next time.
Veg: When we were outside with „Schnitzel" a little while ago he launched out a very intensive warning sound. It was so powerful that I was really frightened. You told me that he sends a signal to people that he is coming. But I could neither see nor hear anybody. Just after a while I heard some pedestrians and afterwards we could see them. But "Schnitzel" has heard them long before and signalled his pride warning. By now, are there other sounds from which you know what they mean or what he would like to express with?
Corinna: Yes, he makes a lot of other different sounds. I have never thought that a pig can do so many different keys. He squeaks very high if there is something he doesn’t like. If he snarls deeply he wants to have something to eat. He has many different sounds and in the meantime I discovered what he wants if he gives a sound.
Veg: He screams when he wants to go in the house in the evening. Is he afraid of the darkness or does he just want to have the security?
Corinna: He wants to be in security. I do not know if he is afraid. I think he wants to get in definitely. As soon as it is dark he screams really intensive loud so that even our neighbours have a look if he is injured or something similar has happened. Therefore I let him in before it is dark outside – and before the neighbours get a shock.
Veg: How are the feeding times?
Corinna: Twice a day: 5 o’clock in the morning before I go to work and 17 o’clock in the evening. At the weekend I give him his feed at the same time and go to bed again – just as “Schnitzel” as well.
Veg: How does he notify you if it is time?
Corinna: At the beginning he squeaks quite low but if he does not get his feed immediately he gets louder and louder.
Veg: If you go for a walk he wears a yellow shiny coat. Is this a protection against the rain or for what reasons does he wear it?
Corinna: No, this is no protection against rain or cold but a security procedure against hunter. Therewith the hedonic slayer can see that this is no wild boar but a domestic animal. Otherwise they would pick him off easily. Nonetheless, this is not really secure. Because they could have the excuse that they thought it would be a wild boar with it plastic bag on its back. I always feel very bad in the near of a wood.
Veg: Do you always have him at the lean or can you also let him run without a lean?
Corinna: Most of the time I let him run without a lean. Unlike a dog he goes behind me so that he can assure to run away if something would happen to me.
Veg: Did »Schnitzel« already meet a hunter? If yes, how did he react?
Corinna: Yes, he met a huntsman last year in the summer. I took “Schnitzel” for a walk and had him at the lean. From a meadow I saw a hunter sitting on a folding chair in the wood. "Schnitzel" had not seen him yet. As we wanted to pass by the hunter moved his head a little bit and „Schnitzel“ started to snarl and ran away thereupon. It was impossible to keep him on the lean and therefore I lost my hold on the lean. Naturally, I was afraid that “Schnitzel” would be shooting down. I ran after him as fast as I could. “Schnitzel” stopped finally as he felt secure and waited for me.
Veg: So, he noticed intuitionally that danger of life.
Corinna: Oh yes, I have never experienced this in that way. It was quit dire. He have never dealed with hunters before. But he must have recognized somehow that there is something dangerous. He really had fear of death.
Veg: Can you crawl „Schnitzel“ like dogs or cats? As I am a stranger he does not allow me to come too near and is carefully.
Corinna: This is no problem for me. He let me crawl him. He even gets goose pimples so that his bristles line up. And then suddenly, he topples down as stroked by lightning and want to be crawled at this belly. At the same time he grunts so low as a cat is purring.
Veg: Do you still eat meat?
Corinna: I have not eaten meat for already a long time ago.
Veg: How old can „Schnitzel“ become?
Corinna: He can reach the same age as a dog, approximately 15 years..
Veg: How do people react when they meet „Schnitzel“?
Corinna: They all look at him and most of them find him cute and funny. Especially children have a lot of fun with him. I give them goodies so that they can feed him. I have to pay attention with dogs in particular. Most of them have a hunting urge and want to bite him which, unfortunately, has already happened twice. Sometimes there are also really stupid comments. For example: an older man told his grandson that „this sow should be slaughtered and one should make sausage out of it“. The grandson was totally irritated.
Veg: Pigs are very intelligent animals. Does „Schnitzel“ sometimes get up to something?
Corinna: Sometimes he is mulish like a donkey but most of the time he is really endearing. One day as I hang up my laundry I forgot my bag on the sofa. As I returned he has fetched the bag from the sofa and managed it to open the zipper. He bagged the whole package of chewing gums (approximately 10 pieces) and was chewing for a certain time until he gulped it.
Veg: Is a pig impedimentary if you search for a new flat?
Corinna: Yes, unfortunately. Nobody believes that pigs are clean and dignified pets. At the moment we are searching for a new flat and it is very, very difficult to find something. Everybody thinks that pigs are dirty, noisy and that they stink.
Veg: You search for a new flat. Is this one too cramped or are there other reasons?
Corinna: We live directly next to a butcher’s shop. That means that two pigs are slaughtered every Monday and they scream heartbreakingly. “Schnitzel” hears them as well. He really shivers. I always try to drown it out with the television. We have to go away from here.
Veg: I think „Schnitzel“ will cause consideration to many people.
Corinna: Many children ask what the name of „Schnitzel“ is and they are astonished about his name. I often perform awareness training as for example: „Schnitzel“ wants to live and not to die. That he do not want to eaten by human beings because a pig has much zest for life, as well.
Veg: Many thanks for this conversation.
A shiny yellow plastic coat
shall save „Schnitzel“ from the huntsmen.