My husband showed me this utterly fascinating article about medieval pigs, which I've often heard a lot about (30-50 feral hogs, anyone?) but haven't really studied much. Since pig meat is so fraught with historic and religious significance, I decided to do a little more digging and see if I could find anything worth integrating to my worldbuilding.
Pigs represent one of the most efficient ways to turn muck into food, and unlike most livestock are raised solely for their meat.
Although they are a livestock animal, pigs are considered one of the more difficult animals to domesticate. They revert to feral status remarkably quickly.
For most of the Middle Ages, wild boar was considered to be the premier big-game animal for hunters.
The terms for pigs are remarkably gendered; domestic pigs are almost always called sows (the female term) and wild pigs are almost always called boars (the male term).
In the ninth century, boar hunts were was so important to political legitimacy that rulers blocked off their forests from even their own children in order to avoid usurpation.
The religious taboo against pork probably has more to do with how ill-suited pigs are for life in the middle east than any real health concerns. The ban was cultural, not medical. [Read More]
Pigs were among the earliest of domesticated animals, after goats and sheep but probably before cattle. By contrast, they were the first domesticated animals in Indonesia. [Read More]
If pork isn't cooked well enough, it can give people trichinosis, anthrax, salmonella, listeria, tapeworms, but this is rare in modern times... and common to all meats. [Read More]
There are two main types of pigs; those raised for their meat (bacon) and those bred for their fat (lard). Lard used to be very popular as a mechanical lubricant. [Read More]
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