goa sunset

Pig Toilets in Goa

pig toilet in goa

It used to be that pig toilets were an integral part of the Goan experience. Attending to the call of nature, the traveler would head to the outhouse, a small concrete building with a chute leading down to the ground. Squatting down, the next thing that invariably happened was that the neighbours heard a violent shriek from the new arrival. A pig had stuck its snout up the chute in anticipation of lunch.

Not only did the sudden apparition of the pig put most travelers off eating pork for life, there was also a certain indignation that the beast couldn’t at least wait a few minutes until you were done.

Once the shock had subsided though, most travelers had to admit that the system was beautifully organic. You ate, you shat, the pig ate, the pig shat and then presumably some worms came along and finished the process. After a while, you got to know the local pigs and they would oink expectantly in the morning:

“Give me ten minutes, guys.” You’d say and the pigs would look at you all disapproving for not eating enough roughage.

As Goa acquires the bourgeois attitudes that accompany the recent wealth though the days of the toilet pig are numbered. More and more houses have built septic tanks to handle their sewage and there are government directives that pig toilets in Goa are soon to be illegal.

The only problem is that Indians being famous for doing a half-assed job on everything, who’s really going to check how close the septic tanks are to the wells? How can a rural population have any appreciation of the perils of cholera? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

And what are the pigs going to eat?