Why Don't People Drink Pig's Milk?

Pigs are mammals, as stated by the Encyclopedia Britannica. Therefore, you can milk a pig. On Pasture obtained a letter written by the Illinois Pork Producers Association that notes how pig milk has a fat content of 8.5%, which is larger than the 3.5% found in cow milk. Because humans respond well to fat content in dairy products, pig milk would probably be delicious.

A Dutch farmer called Erik Stegink decided to take that opportunity and turn it into cheese. Talking with Vice, he described his pig cheese as saltier and creamier than cow cheese. Edward Lee of Louisville's 610 Magnolia and Top Chef also vouched to Slate that "anyone who farms pigs would say that pigs' milk would make an incredible cheese." However, the savvy reader might have noticed one issue with all this: You can't buy pig milk or pig cheese in the supermarket. Since we have lived with pigs for millennia, this suggests that there is an issue with pig-based dairy products. 

Pigs don't like being milked

The biggest reason why pig milk has not swept the United States by storm is that pigs are not keen on being milked. "Thing is, pigs were never domesticated for the dairy industry," Edward Lee told Modern Farmer. "Cows have been domesticated for so many years, they're very docile." So, if you get close to a milking sow, she will respond defensively. As one might imagine, a defensive sow is not an ideal milking animal.

Even if you manage to get close, though, getting enough pig milk to turn a profit would be difficult. The Illinois Pork Producers Association explained in its letter that pigs have fourteen teats, ten more than the cow's four. This makes the extraction of milk more complicated. The technology to milk fourteen teats is simply not readily available. Couple that complexity with the fact that pigs only produce 13 pounds of milk a day, while cows can produce 65 pounds, and it becomes obvious which animal you would invest in the effort of milking.