A Little Like Us

A Pig’s Tale

Winston Churchill said: “Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us. Give me a pig! He looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal.” But the relationship between pig and human is a complicated one.

The pig is a living metaphor for all that is filthy, ugly, shameful, and sinful. The pig is a cast out – or more accurately, penned in – carefully concealed from the human gaze. Industrially farmed pigs never have the experience of lumbering out into the fresh spring air after being shut in for half a year like cows, and few people seem to care. At the same time, the pig is an invaluable medical model for the human body. It is also the animal we have eaten the most of in the past fifty years.

To get to the bottom of its essence and its mysteries, Kristoffer Hatteland Endresen cared for a litter of pigs from birth to slaughter. The result is a fascinating tale of appetite and aversion, meat and morals. And of a question that has haunted us across the ages: where, in fact, is the dividing line between humans and animals?

Great popular science… An impressive knowledgeable book and with a flair for detail, the author describes the interactions, similarities and differences between pigs and humans ever since we began living side by side 11 000 years ago.


This is great non-fiction cinema! I learned an incredible amount. But the best thing is that Hattestad narrates as if he sat at a living room table – incredibly relaxed and amusing. Narrative non-fiction at the very highest level!

Günther Frauenlob, translator