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Cuter Than a Teacup Pig?

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Cuter Than a Teacup Pig?

My great grandmother was fond of describing winsome wee things as “cute as a bug’s ear,” and I still think that a bug’s ear is probably exceedingly adorable. Why do we find small things so cute? Babies, puppies, kittens? Total cuteness. As for babies, Jeffrey Kurland, associate professor of biological anthropology and human development at Penn State, says that we find babies irresistible because “we are inherently attracted to a specific set of characteristics, including large, symmetrical heads, large eyes, small mouths, and small noses.” Can the same hold true for the cute factor of other species? Case in point, the teacup pig.

Included in the swag bags for this year’s Golden Globe Awards were vouchers redeemable for a free baby pig. They even had a live teacup pig at the gift lounge to seal the deal. This latest in celebrity trends was hatched across the pond where Brits are going nuts for teacup pigs, also known as micropigs.

But this trend in purchasing Lilliputian piglets as pets–prompted by breeder promises of significantly smaller-sized, teacup adult pigs–has sanctuaries crying false advertising. Although these diminutive pigs are much smaller than a standard farm pig and weigh a mere nine ounces at birth, they often outgrow the breeders’ claims of eternal tininess and end up in the medium to large dog range–with many of these pigs being then abandoned. It’s hard to play Paris Hilton and cart your pet pig around in your handbag when your “teacup” pig reaches 75 pounds.

Pigs can indeed make great pets for people who have done the research and have the time to commit to making them family members. But size is a top reason cited when pigs are given up. Other reasons may be that they require a lot of attention and care, and they make quite a bit of noise and trouble if not properly stimulated, trained and socialized. As well, many areas prohibit pigs as pets, something many purchasers don’t discover until someone reports them. Pigs are smart, fastidious and trainable, but people often run into trouble with them because they don’t consider the other realities.

Yet…the fact remains: Tiny pigs are cute. Cute cute cute. Seriously, what’s cuter than a tiny pig? (Besides a bug’s ear, of course.) But instead of going out and purchasing a trendy teacup pig that may eventually outgrow the family dog, here are four sweet little pig videos to revel in instead…

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Read more: Cute Pet Photos, Less Common Pets, News & Issues, Pets

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

137 comments

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4:30PM PST on Feb 15, 2012

I love pigs! Just not for dinner.

1:17PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

little baby pigs are the cutest!!!!

3:57PM PDT on Oct 10, 2011

Thanks Melissa.

3:16AM PDT on May 22, 2011

And that is why I don't eat meat anymore!!!
So lovely creatures!!!

7:28PM PST on Feb 2, 2011

They have to be the cutest little creatures ever to grace the planet! I want to sell my house and move to farm country!!!

2:05PM PST on Dec 19, 2010

Oh my gosh!! So adorable!! And intelligent, too! :)

3:14AM PST on Dec 19, 2010

really cute

2:26PM PDT on Oct 24, 2010

Thanks for sharing.

2:26PM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? These are living beings, not fashion statements, for all love!

7:16PM PDT on Aug 4, 2010

I love pigs. They are really cute. I wish I had one of these but I don't think it is going to happen, unless I am able to adopt instead of buying one.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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