Pigs Eat a Farmer Alive

It is a cliché in journalism that "man bites dog" is a far more interesting story than "dog bites man." Similarly, in a grotesque and horrible way, "hog eats man" is a far more arresting story than the other way around.

Creative Commons: Amanda Slater

Terry V. Garner, a 70-year-old Oregon farmer, was eaten by the very same hogs that he had gone out to feed on Wednesday in late Sept, 2012, according to NBC News. All that was left of him were some dentures and a few body parts. Investigators speculate that Garner either had a "health event" (i.e. a heart attack or stroke) or was knocked to the ground by the 700 pound hogs, which placed him in the position to be devoured alive.

The story also cites the case of a Romanian woman who was knocked unconscious and was at least partly eaten by pigs on her farm. It is unknown whether she survived or not.

According to the Interesting Animals website, while some people believe that pigs are herbivores (i.e. plant eaters) nothing can be further from the truth. Pigs are about the least picky eaters in the animal kingdom. They will eat almost everything, including garbage, their own young, worms, tree bark, carcasses, tree bark and, yes, the occasional farmer who is unfortunate enough to be set upon when they are hungry.

Generally, down on the farm, pigs are fed a diet of corn and grains such as oats and wheat that have been supplemented with protein and vitamins that are low in fiber. Pigs also require plenty of water.

The notion of pigs devouring human beings has crept into both literature and cinema.

John Steinbeck's depression era classic, "The Grapes of Wrath," mentions an incident in which a pig broke into the Joad house and devoured a neighbor's baby.

Pigs eating human beings have shown up in the movies as well.

The Australian film "Razorback" depicts a wild boar that terrorizes the outback, eating human prey, before it is hunted down and killed. The film was shown in the United States only in limited release, but is available on DVD.

The most famous film that depicts pigs eating humans is "Hannibal," the sequel to "Silence of the Lambs," which featured Anthony Hopkins reprising his role of the cannibalistic serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lector. The movie depicts a plot by one of Lector's victims to give him the most painful death of being devoured alive by a pack of specially trained hogs.