Pig Parts are in Bullets, Artificial Hearts, and Cigarettes

Chris Higgins

Christien Meindertsma followed an individual pig through its life and death, to see where all the parts of the pig ended up. This pig did not have a name per se, but it did have a number: Pig 05049. And Meindertsma found that this pig's parts made their way into a remarkable array of modern products and devices (including bullets -- no kidding).

Among the places bits of Pig 05049 ended up: soap, toothpaste, bread, low-fat butter, concrete, German train brakes, fine bone china, paint, sandpaper, cigarettes, and even...meat. (And we're not just talking about pork.) There are lots more, and I don't want to ruin the talk -- you'll just have to watch.

This TED Talk is under ten minutes long, and it's well worth a look. It's brief, because Meindertsma is a first-time TED speaker -- but it's packed with interesting bits of information. For more on her work, check out her book Pig 05049 (check out the video on that page for a look at EVERY PAGE in the book).