Pigs have certain needs that, when unfulfilled, can affect their behavior and their productive efficiency thus promoting welfare problems. Exploration and the search for food are inherent behaviors in pigs at all stages of production, and nest preparation is an exclusive antepartum need for females. In intensive rearing units, providing environmental enrichment materials is a way to meet these needs that allows the animals to fully express their behavior and avoid problems such as tail biting, stereotypes and, specifically in the case of breeding arrays, the onset of labor due to stress, which can result in impaired births and piglets. Straw is known as an enrichment material that best meets these demands, and it is an important requirement of animal welfare legislation in several countries. This study was developed to highlight the importance of meeting the biological needs of pigs through the provision of environmental enrichment materials and to demonstrate the positive results that these materials have on pig welfare. The challenges to the viability of the regular use of these resources in industrial pig farming are also addressed.