pigs are to us in many ways very similar. The researched behavior biologist Karsten Brensing. He works as a scientific reviewer and author of popular science books for a better understanding of animals. In an interview with FOCUS Online, the scientist explains how pigs really tick, what they feel and think and why you choose your Partner the same way as we humans do.
FOCUS Online Lord, Brensing, who runs a pig farm over, just listen to squeak and grunt. You have written a book with the title "The language of animals". This means that pigs talk to each other? If Yes, what did you tell to?
Karsten Brensing: What we understand, people commonly language – i.e. a vocabulary of tens of thousands of terms – that there is not, of course, in the case of pigs. Nevertheless, animals communicate with each other. You make Sounds, you can combine these to words, to sentences.
For us, squealing and grunting pigs only. But you Express how you feel. As can be seen in the sound of Rebirth, for example, whether an animal is concerned, whether it is in pain or is stressed. Also panic and fear of death shortly before slaughter, the animals feel – and you articulate these feelings with the appropriate Sounds.animal welfare: "A pig thinks and feels very differently than a human,"
FOCUS Online : What pigs do when they are in fear of death?
Brensing: you squeal and grunt, sometimes very loud, sometimes quiet. Lump you can't say that. There is no General reaction patterns in pigs. They are as we humans are very different, their behavior individually.
FOCUS Online : This means that man and pig are not really so dissimilar?
Brensing: exactly. Pigs are similar to us, they lead emotionally and socially, with a comparable life as we do. They are gregarious, living in social Networks with different roles and hierarchies, and also the character of the properties of its congeners. You will notice with whom you can and whom not. In short: A pig thinks and feels very differently than a man.
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FOCUS Online : And what is with the instinct? The is more pronounced in the pigs, but certainly stronger than us humans.
Brensing: That has been accepted for a long time. However, we do not know today, that there is the instinct so actually. Earlier you looked at the inner life of an animal merely as a "Black Box". You looked at what goes in and what comes out. Focused purely on the outward behavior of the animal, his reactions to stimuli from the environment. This approach applies today in the behavioral science and psychology as obsolete.
FOCUS Online What you need to know today about the psychology of pigs?
Brensing: for example, We know that you are logically thinking and sentient beings. After a few weeks of life, they take it from the cognitive development of her locker to me to be two - to three-year-old people. Pigs know friendship, have a biography, you remember and can see into the future and plan.
you even understand the concept of a mirror. If a pig sees in the mirror, for example, food, not to be running it on the mirror, in search of food – it goes to the actual feed point; and without detours.
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Brensing: here, Too, pig people are very similar. Feelings are an ancient invention, the nature and control our behavior via the endocrine system. A classic example is the choice of a partner is that We feel drawn to, for example, people attracted to that smell good.
The smell gives an indication of how the immune systems of the partners. Our offspring are then protected against diseases better. Pigs feel when the partner choice as well, their behavior is controlled by the corresponding hormones.
FOCUS Online that means That a pig will choose its partners according to the same criteria, we the people?
Brensing: , at Least in the first step, Yes. What distinguishes the human from the pig, is simply that he's thinking about further conditions, the choice of a partner. About the culture of his origin, his Job. That's not a pig, presumably. Book recommendation (display)
"thinking Like animals and feel" of Karsten Brensing, awarded as the "knowledge book of the year 2019"To the book at Amazon
FOCUS Online Although they are apparently so similar, we will lock the pigs in the stables, often under terrible conditions. How do they fit together?
Brensing: is well-founded in the Tradition, in the laws, the language - in short: in our culture. Animals are still considered things. Although science now knows a lot more about their Thinking and their feelings than in the past, they are still referred to as "Black Boxes", as farm animals or as in the case of pigs than of cattle for slaughter. Psychologists call this by the way, the victims of devaluation, so that we can trick our own morality.slaughter house: "The animals suffer from Stress"
FOCUS Online : How much pigs and other animals suffer from the conditions in narrow stalls and on their way to the slaughter?
Brensing : The communication researchers have studied. You are determined on the basis of the Sounds that the animals gave of themselves, whether they suffered from Stress. And Yes, this is often not the case. Actually, we should have given the scientific findings on Feel and Thinking of the animals a long time ago, the conditions change. But instead it has adapted the animals to the housing conditions.
There have been bred, for example, pigs, the less loud squeal – in the assumption that they suffer less. However, that is not in accordance with our law, because we have to adapt to the housing conditions of the animals and not Vice versa.
FOCUS Online : If nothing changes in terms of animal welfare, why do they deal at all with the topic?
Brensing: I firmly believe that we will deal with animals at some point as they deserve it. This thought motivated me. I'm sure that future generations will be what we do today with the animals, described as bestial.Imprisoned in the barn: "The animals need all the joy and Motivation"
FOCUS Online : you have written in the past year, a children's book. What do you want to pass on to future generations?
Brensing: It is important to understand what a species-appropriate handling of animals actually means. It should be in the foreground, to allow the animals a natural behavior spectrum. This includes the avoidance of suffering and pain on the one hand,. Even more important, however, is that it allows for animals is pleasure and Motivation. And these can feel pigs only if you can engage in their natural behavior when they search for food and with their own species to communicate.
So how we treat pigs at the Moment, we reduce, in my opinion, more than 90 percent of the natural behavior of the spectrum. And since it does not help to put a Ball in the pig pen, in order to create a bit of variety. That is not perhaps well intentioned, but changes a lot.More on the subject of animal husbandry and meat
The forced closure of the meat company Tönnies makes the Perversion of an entire industry-visible: Because the operation is still jamming in many of the breeding and fattening farms, the pigs in the stables. Not only the animals, but also farmers are suffering. Side is also to blame, especially one: the consumer. "Pigs jam" in the barn: after Tönnies-closure of meat threatens to Perversion is visible
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