If you’re like me and you thought that pigs were only for human consumption, you were wrong. It turns out pigs have tons of commercial uses – from the hair and hide to their internal organs and bones. This isn’t anything new, humans have been doing this type of recycling since pigs have been domesticated, now-a-days it is just a little more industrialized.
In 2004 Dutch artist and author Christien Meindertsma started tracing the fate of a single pig that was slaughtered and spent 3 years tracking down where each piece went and how it was used. It was followed into 185 different products, which she mentions in her book Pig 05049.
Recently I received 2 different kinds of soap that were made by the Amish from Pig Fat in the state of Kentucky. My friend Amy Sipes from John’s Custom Meats does business with the Amish and was able to get me some of the fine soap that they make. It smells delicious and is just as good, if not better than regular soap.
Here are some examples of a Pigs uses:
BEER: One of the most used products from pigs is gelatin – this is composed of hooves, bones, and connective tissue. A dry powder form is made from the gelatin and mixed in with the beer towards the end of the brewing process. It purpose is to remove tannins (a bitter substance found in the hulls of grains used to make beer). This can be seen as it removes the cloudy substance that is created by yeast and proteins from malt.
SHAMPOO: Fatty acids from pig bones are added to shampoo to give it that very shiny, pearly look. It also serves the same purpose in paint.
FABRIC SOFTENER: Now we are talking main ingredients. When fabrics become negatively charged they create static cling. Coating fabrics with processed pig fats, which are positively charged and cling to fabric surfaces, result in feeling soft and slippery. This allows your iron to glide over the fabric smoothly and make it less prone to wrinkling.
BRUSHES: Pig bristles are a huge global business. In China they are used to make every kind of brush imaginable: hair, coat, and paintbrushes just to name a few. A special machine collects the bristles during the slaughtering process.
BREAD: L-cysteine is a natural amino acid found in MEAT. It benefits the our bodies by keeping our stomach linings nice and healthy. It is used in the process of bread making because it results in softer dough. Today it can also me made synthetically, but more often the not comes from pigs’ bristles.
HEPARIN: This anticoagulant drug comes from the mucus lining of pigs’ small intestines. It is used to stop blood clots from forming.
CHEMICAL WEAPONS LABS: Pigs ears, because of it’s similarities to human flesh, is often used to test the physiological effects of chemical weapons.
MATCHES: Proteins found in pig bones are used to make and adhesive called “Bone Glue”. When combined with flammable chemicals like phosphorus it can be used to make strikable friction matches.
TRAIN BRAKES: Pig bones are incinerated and processed to form a very fine powder of uniformly sized particles. Bone ash is added to a wide variety of products, fine china, artists’ paints, polishing compounds, and fertilizers. Their is a factory in Germany that uses the power for making train brakes.
Below is a list of other fine products that are made from other parts of pigs:
Safety gloves, beauty masks, energy bars, licorice, chewing gum, breath mints, lollipops, marshmallows, mougat, cupcakes, vanilla pudding, chocolate mousse, ice cream, pet food, surgical sponge, paintballs, inkjet paper, X-ray film, jigsaw puzzles, book covers, wallpaper, sandpaper, shoe leather, chia figurines, chondroitin tablets, insulin, heart valves, cadmium batteries, injectable collagen, and bullets.
CELL REGENERATION: The lining of a pigs bladder is know to possess special “cell regeneration’’ qualities and is currently being used in combination with human stem cells to regenerate actual human body parts. When a finger is cut off the immune systems natural response to cell death is inflammation and scar tissue. It is believed that when “extracellular matrix” is applied to the wound it stops the natural process and causes the cells to start repairing the damage like they would in a developing fetus.
Here are 2 articles referencing examples of cell regeneration:
Can humans regrow fingers?
How Pig Guts Became the Next Bright Hope for Regenerating Human Limbs
The uses for a pig may be endless we may never know.
All information in this article were referenced from page 91-93 in Uncle John’s Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader
aka MEAT ME