It may be the year of the dog but Thursday marks National Pig Day
By Kate Ayers
March 1 is National Pig Day, which recognizes the domestic pig. Take the day to celebrate the porcine species and the farmers who help produce them.
From garages and home kitchens to football fields and hospital rooms, pork products play a role in our daily lives.
Many of us love to indulge in such meats as bacon, ham and spare ribs.
But manufacturers also use pork byproducts to produce such items as violin strings, linoleum, insulin and antifreeze.
Indeed, hog production is a huge market on the world stage.
The top five pork-producing countries in 2017 were China, the European Union, the United States, Brazil and Russia, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service. Canada wasn’t too far behind, sitting in the seventh spot on the list.
In Canada, the pork sector accounts for 30 per cent of total livestock shipments and 10 per cent of all cash farm receipts, says Canada Pork International. Last year, Canadian hog farms raised over 13.5 million pigs, according to Statistics Canada.
In America, the top producing states are Iowa, North Carolina and Minnesota, together accounting for 55 per cent of the total value of U.S. hog sales, according to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture. Last year, the U.S. produced over 70.9 million pigs, according to Statista.
In 1972, sisters Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave created National Pig Day in order “to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals,” says Rave on the National Day Calendar website.
You can join the celebration by attending special day events, enjoying some pork products or spending time in the barn. When posting your activities on social media, use the hashtag #NationalPigDay.