Professor Jamie Kreiner, Department of History, University of Georgia
In the early medieval West, pigs were the only livestock raised exclusively for their meat. But they were no mere commodity. Pork production depended on pigs' own laboring of converting almost any sort of organic matter into meat that humans loved. They were also smart and curious animals that were difficult to house and herd. And in the process of managing their pigs, humans of all ranks – swineherds, landowners, and lawmakers – bent their own practices and policies in order to accommodate them.