A CAMPAIGNING farmer is demanding the terms “pig-out” and “eat like a pig” are removed from the dictionary - claiming they’re unfair and offensive to the animals.

Fergus Howie, 43, who runs his family farming business Wicks Manor Farm in Tolleshunt Major, has written to the Oxford English Dictionary to demand that the “derogatory” terms are removed or redefined.

The term “pig-out” is defined as “a bout of eating a large amount of food e.g ‘a junk food pig-out’”.

But Mr Howie says that despite the stereotype, pigs are no greedier than any other animals.

The dad-of-three said: “The fact that they associate junk food with pigs is not very good.

“Pigs don’t eat junk food and they are nothing to do with that.

“As a pig farmer and on behalf of the country's pigs, we are just a little upset by the fact that people talk about ‘eating like a pig’ it is derogatory.

“It creates this perception that pork is a fatty meat which is completely incorrect.

“And this is what has prompted me to get frustrated that fact that people are calling pigs fat because they are not.”

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) last week announced that pigs are today leaner than they have ever been.

Fergus has run the family business since 2000 when he took over from his father, who had been farming since 1967.

He states that the derogatory terms only relate back to the 19th century and do not define a pig.

Fergus said: “I would like to request that derogatory porcine terms such as ‘pig-out’, ‘eat like a pig’ or ‘porker’ are redefined within the Oxford English Dictionary.

“It has long been a bugbear of mine that people use porcine terminology to describe over consumption, especially when it comes to food.

“Pigs are now 44 per cent leaner as they were in the 1970s and within that same period of time the human has got fatter by 30 per cent.

“It is rather unfair when we talk about pigging out, we think of a pig and not really ourselves.”

“There is 0.17 grams of saturated fat in a Pork Medallion compared to a skinless chicken breast, which has 0.2 grams.

“The fact that the English dictionary has got the term ‘pig-out’ makes it derogatory to pigs and pig farmers and we want to change that because it is changing people’s perceptions of pork.”

“It is this this kind of perception of a pig which is not good for the sales.

He added: “Our pigs have a balanced diet and depending on what stage of life the pig is on the ration will vary.”

Carrie Ruxton, dietitian and nutritionist, said: “Pork is often perceived as having a higher fat content than other meats.

“But pork medallions offer a tasty and healthy alternative to chicken breasts which can get a bit dull after a while.

“As well as being high in protein, pork is rich in B vitamins which support normal energy release and fight tiredness and fatigue.”