Miniature pigs, often named teacup pigs because of their approximate size ( or lack thereof ), have become a popular designer pet. Since 2009, these improbably small pigs have had their reputation aided by celebrity enthusiasts such as Rupert Grint and Victoria Beckham. However, they are not a sound choice for a pet.
Contrary to popular belief, pigs are intelligent and clean animals, requiring the same level of devotion as a dog. People buying them for the craze will inflict psychological harm on their pigs if they neglect these animals' great need for contact. Owners who will devote themselves to their porcine companions may avoid these problems, but the teacup pig itself presents another problem.
Like most designer pets, the teacup pig has come about through selective, unregulated, and unethical breeding. The need to have tiny pigs means that teacup breeders are working from a small genetic pool of inherently small animals, often inbreeding to achieve the desired effects. This means an increase in genetic disorders and health problems. There is a chance that you may be given a regular piglet by the breeder, which will avoid the inherited diseases-- but this pig will grow to full-size as it matures, defeating the purpose of a teacup pig and costing much more to feed.
Miniature pigs are an outlandish specialty pet appropriated through unethical breeding standards. They were originally created by scientists for a vital purpose-- to study organs and organ transplantation-- but this is not what people selling pet teacups have in mind. It is best to simply stick with a more common pet which does not have such a guilty background.
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About the author:
A freelance writer/cartoonist living in LA, with my fiance' and our wonderful cat. You can see my work at www.rubysworldcomic.com and rubynation.smackjeeves.com