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From everything I've seen so far, the ponies seem to be herbivores. We never see them eat meat products of any kind. But the Apple family raises pigs in their farm (Season 3 Episode 10 "Spike at Your Service"). It makes sense for ponies to raise sheep (for the wool), cows (for the milk) and chickens (for the eggs), but why would they need to raise pigs if they don't eat meat?

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Bacon – DampeS8N Jan 14 '14 at 0:20
They could sell the pigs to carnivores. – Oldcat Jan 14 '14 at 0:21
Not quite a duplicate but pretty damn close;… – Valorum Jan 14 '14 at 0:23
@Richard - never noticed that bit in the end. You're right. This question may very well be a dupe. – System Down Jan 14 '14 at 0:29
I've not flagged it because imho it's not a dupe, albeit the answers are going to be similar. – Valorum Jan 14 '14 at 0:31
up vote 42 down vote accepted

According to Lauren Faust, creator, writer and Senior Animator of "Friendship is Magic", the pigs were kept for humanitarian (pigitarian? ponitarian?) reasons as well as to help the ponies to locate truffles.

Lauren Faust webchat

Obviously it can't be for food, given that ponies in Equestria are

strictly vegetarian

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Aargh. I've won a badge for this g'damn answer. – Valorum Jan 24 '14 at 21:58

Equestrian ponies are not exclusively herbivores.

enter image description here

That looks like a meat sandwich to me, and Pinkie Pie references hot dogs in Fall Weather Friends.

One could argue that they're vegetarian equivalents, but that just pushes the notion back to "equivalent of what?" The presence of a vegetarian hot dog implies an original meat hot dog for it to be mimicking.

Equestrian ponies aren't like real-world ponies in many ways. Being omnivores is one of these differences.

(It doesn't seem that they eat a lot of meat. Faust's justification of pigs as truffle-hunters is probably also true, perhaps even primarily true, but it probably isn't the entire truth. Please note, even in an unofficial off-the-cuff answer Faust didn't indicate that ponies don't eat meat).

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+1 for Best Pony picture. – evilsoup Jan 14 '14 at 1:07
There;s also an exclamation from Applejack about "Pork chops and apple sauce" in Micro-Series comic book issue #2, when lightning from the cloud gremlins' cloud strikes a tree near her. – Valorum Jan 14 '14 at 1:30
@Richard Ah, but are the comics canon? (Correct answer: mu; 'canon' is a worthless concept) – evilsoup Jan 14 '14 at 2:29
FiM canon is like Doctor Who canon: something the fans argue about and the creators ignore. – BESW Jan 14 '14 at 2:30
"Equestrian ponies aren't like real-world ponies in many ways. Being omnivores is one of these differences." -- Note, real-world horses can and do eat meat on occasion, even of their own volition (as opposed to an owner feeding it to them). See, for example, Deadly Equines: The Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating and Murderous Horses. (That said, a horse's digestive system is not designed for meat and a high-meat diet for an extended period is not going to end well for the horse.) – Brian S Jan 14 '14 at 15:36

The ponies are shown several times baking and cooking various meals and dishes. Some of these require some kind of fatty substances that could be pig lard. They also wear clothes sometimes, for which they could use pig leather. Pig hooves can be used to fabricate buttons that can also be used to make dresses.

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Same with cows. I haven't noticed any animal graveyards, so perhaps they consume the dead. – Cees Timmerman Jan 14 '14 at 10:49

What are pig farms used for? To dispose of the bodies! (see Snatch and True Blood, for example)

In this context, as previously mentioned, no graveyards - so where do the corpses go?

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+1111111111111111 – jsedano Apr 22 '14 at 3:40
A less morbid reason, all those rotten, cored, or cider apple leftovers need to be disposed of somehow. – user16696 Dec 28 '14 at 17:29

Let's see what non-pork uses are there for raising pigs.


Plowing/land clearing


Boar's hair for brushes

Waste products can be used to generate electricity

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All good uses, but aside from the quote above in my answer, is there any proof that they're actually used for these purposes? – Valorum Nov 17 '14 at 19:39
How do you use a pig for plowing? – Oldcat Nov 17 '14 at 22:44
@Oldcat Pigs naturally scavenge under the soil for roots and grubs. As they nose the ground they inevitably dig leaving behind a nicely aerated soil devoid of old roots – Brouellette Nov 17 '14 at 22:55

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