Listen, okay, no one is disputing that “teacup” pigs are cute. Alright? They are. They’re cute as buttons, babies, Mini Coopers, etc. Insert whatever metaphor for cute that comes to mind for you, teacup pigs are that adorbs. Unfortunately, they’re also a complete fabrication. But, that isn’t stopping a local London specialty-breeder and Yelp from putting on an adoption event to educate the public on “proper” micro pig care and maintenance. Seriously.
I just, uggghhhh!
Set for late spring, the “Pignic Cafe Pop-Up” is being planned in collaboration with a breeding company called PetPiggies that specializes in the breeding and selling of micro pigs. The evening is being touted as an “animal welfare” event as ticket holders can purchase food and get information about micro pig ownership and expectations. The idea is that this sort of education will deter people from purchasing them, only to end up being abandoned when they grow larger than anticipated (which they will, because there’s no such thing as a micro pig) or their needs end up being greater than the person who wanted it to cruise around town in their purse or in their backpack thought they would be (which, again, they will).
Promoters really want to drive this whole “it’s for the good of the animals” thing home, stating that the event “will not just be a sit-down experience but a multi-room, piggy educational evening.” Aside from learning all about pig care, visitors also have the opportunity to commune with some of the pigs in question and maybe even bring one home for themselves.
They’re trying to teach people not to abandon a fad pet…by making more of the fad pet? You guys are with me that this makes no sense, right? Good.
Here are the facts. There’s no such thing as a micro or teacup pig. They are a fantasy, like unicorns or John Travolta’s hair. They do not exist. Once full grown, these pigs, who are sold with the promise of being able to sleep in your bed and chill on your lap, can top 300 pounds. Other breeds of pigs can routinely reach more than triple that weight, so breeders are able to tout their smaller size without it being a bald-faced lie. The misdirect is intentional, however, as pet owners envision Babe cruising around their house and instead are faced with a housemate that probably outweighs them.
“I have no idea what happened, I bought a pet that I failed to research and lo and behold (gestures to pig), I have no idea what’s going on!”
Highly social animals, pigs aren’t meant to live by themselves in your house no matter what size they are anyway. Bored by lack of companionship, room and areas to snuffle around in and dig up, pigs, as pets, can become frustrated, bored and aggressive. Put all of this together and you have a recipe for an animal that won’t stay a forever part of a household, which leads to abandonment for the poor thing whose only transgression was being a pig.
Yelp hopes to help this situation by throwing a party where you can get one for your very own, though. Seriously, they say in promotion of the whole shindig, “Micro pigs are very chic right now, but many people don’t realize how big they can grow when they buy one and then, sadly, abandon them. We think the first step to stopping this is education about micro pigs.”
You know what else stops micro pig abandonment? NOT MAKING MORE “MICRO PIGS!”
You do? Really? Since the pigs slated to be at this pig-a-palooza aren’t even due to be born until April, it kinda seems like the first step to stopping abandonment would be putting an end the purposeful breeding of these animals in the first place. Honestly, if you’re really concerned about a fad pet filling up space in shelters when irresponsible owners get tired of meeting their needs, wouldn’t it make more sense not to promote buying them in the first place?
Come one, come all! Learn how to keep pigs from being abandoned by buying more of them!
If Yelp wants to do an animal welfare event about responsible pet ownership that helps to educate the public in order to keep homeless pet populations down, they should be sponsoring an event with a local shelter in attempts to find existing dogs and cats a loving forever home.
Doing this with a breeder whose sole purpose is to produce more animals for money is like saying you want to keep plastic out of the ocean, so you’re having an event where you get to take home a bag of K-Cups, PVC pipe, micro beads and those plastic doohickeys that keep a six-pack of soda cans together all while getting information about how you should recycle more. That sounds like a pretty ridiculous event. Hey, kinda like this one.
Lead image source: Gallery Hip