Here’s a couple of anecdotes that show why some people consider pigs to be our closest relatives:
“A gentleman passing through Burslem a few days since, had his attention arrested by the agitation of an oak tree, from whence the acorns fell in showers. On approaching it, he observed eleven young pigs faring on the fruit, whilst the mother-sow which had ascended the tree, clung with her for-legs to an upper branch and shook the lower with her left hind leg.”
“A man who holds a small farm near St. Alban’s, and who is ever looked upon as a most eccentric being, made an entry into that place a few days since, mounted on a small car, actually drawn by four large hogs! He entered the town at a brisk trot, amid the acclamations of hundreds. After making the tour of the market-place three or four times, he came into the Wool-Pack yard and had his swinish cattle unharnessed, and taken into a stable where they were regaled with beans and mash. They remained about two hours in the town, during which time he despatched his business at the market, when they were driven home.
This man has only had these animals under training 6 months., A gentleman offered him £50 for the concern as it stood but was indignantly refused. ”
I read an article about a man riding a cow to market as a means of avoiding the horse tax, and I suspect this may be more of the same. I also think the dog carts served the same purpose. It could also be that in war time horses were in short supply.