Pigs have always been my absolute favorite animal since I was a little kid. To prove my loyalty to them at a young age, I gave up eating pigs a long time before I went vegetarian. While that’s definitely speciest of me to not eat one animal but eat the other, I was young and couldn’t imagine loving an animal and eating them too.
When I first heard about the trend of mini pigs, it definitely caught my attention early on. I remember mentioning them at my college’s Animal Rights Organization, and my friend describing them almost as you would describe a unicorn or Bigfoot. “Mini pigs don’t exist.” And just like that, I was a hater of the mini pig.
Okay, maybe not “just like that.” It took some explaining to get me to turn against this new and upcoming “trend.” My friend explained to me that these pigs are not naturally this small, and they are very unhealthy, and very sad. They are the result of a a runt bred with a runt, then their baby bred with another runt and so on, then starved to stunt their growth.
I had no clue that these seemingly harmless little tiny pigs had such a screwed up background! I think it’s repulsive to make money off of animals (hence why I’m vegan) but also to bring a life into this world knowing it’s is going to suffer and be extremely unhealthy is SO selfish to me.
Because teacup pigs are the result of inbreeding many different runts, they have sooooo many health problems and have really short life expectancies. Most potbellied pigs (which is the breed that most micro pig are) have a life expectancy of 20+ years. Most mini pigs don’t live past 5. Since these pigs are underfed, they “suffer from weak immune systems, sensitive skin, and hoof problems.”
The smallest size that a potbelly pig can weigh in order to be healthy is 60 pounds, which is waaay heavier than any mini pig. A lot of breeders inbreed their pigs in order for the babies to be even smaller, and this too is clearly very unhealthy. Their life expectancy and health problems should be sign enough that breeding teacup pigs is just plain wrong.
Micro pigs are a bizarre concept. Pigs are naturally large animals. Breeding mini pigs is the same to me as breeding babies and feeding them some weird diet to keep them babies forever. It’s just naturally NOT normal.
When you buy a mini pig from a breeder, they give you strict instructions on what to feed your new pet. This “diet” consists of very small portions of food each day, and actually starves the pig instead of nourishes them. A lot of breeders suggest you only feed your micro pig a very small portion of guinea pig food, which to any intelligent human being should be a MAJOR red flag. (Not that people who own these pigs aren’t intelligent, but come on people! This pig situation is clearly very messed up!)
I love pigs and want one as a pet more than anything, but I don’t think I could provide a good life for a pig. They love to be surrounded by other pigs, and have a natural urge to dig and play in the mud and when they are denied these natural instincts, they become depressed and destructive. I would never want to mentally damage my pet, hence I would never own a pig unless I lived on a farm-like property and had plenty of other pig friends for them to play with!
A favorite “micro pig” of mine is Esther the Wonder Pig. She was sold to a couple as a mini pig, and it didn’t take long for them to realize that she was anything but mini. She grew to be a 530-pound full sized pig, and instead of abandoning her or having her put down like most in this situation do, they decided to teach the world about the injustices of the micro pig breeding industry, and even went vegan in the process!
Yes mini pigs are adorable, but like babies, they can’t stay small forever. And in my opinion, there is nothing cute to me about a sick, starved pig. I tend to be a pretty peaceful person, but if I ever met the idiot who “invented” the idea of a micro pig, I would have a hard time not strangling them. I just can’t imagine creating a living being, knowing that they are going to have a miserable and unhealthy life, just to make profit for myself.
But to stay positive, the best thing we all can do is educate people about why mini pigs are, in reality, not a real thing. And if you really want your daily dose of pigs, volunteer at a sanctuary and get your pig fill there!
Gonna spend the next few hours googling “cute huge pigs” now. Seeya!