Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Pet-Pig Craze: The Teacup

In the 1990s, that flush and flighty decade, celebrities and other idiots with too much money bought potbellied piglets to take home. Shockingly, they (the animals, that is) grew into enormous-bellied adults, some of which eventually weighed as much as 300 lb. At least 300,000 potbellies ended up crammed into pig sanctuaries after they got too big even for the bloated McMansions that had taken them in as babies. But pig breeders kept trying to engineer smaller and smaller swine, and in 2009 demand soared for so-called teacup pigs, which were advertised to grow to just 60 lb. in adulthood. In November, London's Daily Mail reported that David and Victoria Beckham paid approximately $2,300 for a pair of micro-porkers, which Posh was said to want to name Elton and David, after her friend Elton John and his partner David Furnish. But some animal experts said the whole idea of a minipig was a zoological contradiction, warning that if a pig stopped growing at 60 lb., it was probably sickly and, by definition, unpigly — which is to say, underfed.