Did you know far more pigs are raised in China than any other country? As of April 2022, China farmers have 450 million pigs. In second place, the entire European Union has 140 million pigs. In third place, the United States has 74 million pigs. In 2022 China is projected to produce 51,000 metric tons of pork.
Why does China raise so many pigs? Well, pigs have played a significant role in the culture (and farming) of China for thousands of years. Initially, wild pigs would forage near human villages, and over a period of 8,000 years, as the human population grew, Chinese people gradually domesticated these pigs. They started putting them into pens near their dwellings, not just for the meat, but also to use them as garbage disposals and fertilizer producers. The people gradually bred them to grow faster and produce larger litters.
Europeans found that Chinese pigs were much better than their own pigs, and they bred the two types together, eventually creating most of the modern, high-production breeds that are raised all over the world today.
In China, pork is much preferred over beef, as the people consider the pork fat and the color of the meat to be superior. They consider the taste and smell to be sweeter and cleaner. Also, in China, pork has traditionally been served to celebrate culturally-significant events.
Chinese farmers are now building multi-level pig-raising facilities, some of which are twelve stories tall.
- Pig farm - DepositPhotos
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