At any given time there are around one billion pigs in the world; that's one for every seven of us. And where would we be without them? Prolific, ubiquitous, smart, adaptable, able to turn garbage into good-quality protein just by eating it, pigs have been our companions since neolithic days when they obligingly domesticated themselves, coming in out if the wild to truffle around our waste pits. It's not all about the bacon: the resourceful pig, now reformatted in micro packages, has developed a whole new career as a portable pet. And thanks to the recent genome mapping we now know that pig physiology is remarkably similar to our own. The Pig: A Natural History covers evolution from prehistoric "hell pig" to placid porker; anatomy, biology, and behaviour; the pig's contribution to our lives; and the high profile of this remarkable beast in popular culture.
Richard Lutwyche has been surrounded by pigs since birth, growing up on a farm alongside a herd of pedigree Wessex Saddlebacks. He ran the Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders Club, he was editor of The Ark magazine for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and is a council member of Three Counties Agricultural Society where he is Chief Steward and organiser of one of Britain's largest pig shows. A true expert, he is author of Pig Keeping (National Trust, 2010) and Higgledy-Piggledy (Quillar Press, 2010) and in 2010 he received the lifetime achievement award in the BBC Food & Farming Awards for his work with pigs and conservation of rare pig breeds.