British Pig Farmer Says the Term 'Pigging Out' Is Offensive to Porcine

The phrase, "pigging out," is recognized in English-speaking countries around the world, but a UK farmer wants to change what it means.

According to Fergus Howie, the English language has been unfairly stereotyping pigs for centuries. He's made a formal request to the Oxford English Dictionary with a goal to right this perceived wrong and bring the porcine on his farm a bit of justice.

pig eating

The phrase "pig out" is defined by official Oxford standards as "a bout of eating a large amount of food." Similarly, the terms "eat like a pig" and "porker" are also associated with overeating and being overweight. If you ask Howie, he'll tell you these terms are "derogatory," and they're hurting his business as a pig farmer. He told the Maldon Standard:

"As a pig farmer and on behalf of the country's pigs, we are just a little upset by the fact that people talk about 'eating like a pig' it is derogatory. It creates this perception that pork is a fatty meat which is completely incorrect."

To rectify this seemingly blaring linguistic oversight, Howie is campaigning to have all terms in the dictionary relating pigs to being fat either removed completely or redefined. He's been in charge of his family-run pig farm since 2000, and his father started the operation in 1967. He's seen the business change over generations, and he wants people to know that pork is a healthy and relatively low-fat protein option. He said:

"Pigs are 44 percent leaner than they were in the 1970s and within that same period of time the human has got fatter by 30 percent. It is rather unfair when we talk about pigging out, we think of a pig and not really ourselves."

pig running

Howie and a few other pig farmers who feel the same way are concerned the phrases including "pigging out" are affecting their businesses' bottom lines. In a society where more and more people are concerned with low-fat diets, they want to make sure people recognize pork as a healthy option.

So far, there's no statement from the Oxford English Dictionary about changing the definitions.

Do you think the term "pigging out" is derogatory toward pigs? Let us know in the comments.

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