Saturday, 9 February 2019

Chinese New Year

The twelfth animal in the Chinese Annual Calendar is, according to the Chinese, fortuitous with a beautiful personality; strong and straightforward but happy to relax! Perhaps it is these characteristics, as well as a swell in celebrity endorsements, that has lead to such a dramatic increase in pigs making the move from farmyard staple to household pet. 

As comedian and country life-liver Dom Joly writes here, pigs are just as intelligent as literary classics such as Charlotte’s Web and Babe would have us believe, though with that intelligence comes boorishness (one could say pig-headedness), and a demand for space that many well-wishing pig adopters do not account for. It’s clear from Dom’s article that pigs are to be respected as individuals with personality traits that are not always placid and awaiting a tranquil belly-rub by the fire. 

Sadly, this misunderstanding has left more and more previously domesticated pigs abandoned on the streets to fend for themselves, often leaving devastation in their confused and frustrated wake. 

Janet Devereux of the UK’s only dedicated pig rescue centre, Pigs Inn Heaven, urges prospective pig purchasers that “a micro pig is a piglet; then it grows” and that the term is in fact a complete fabrication.
Illustration by Billie Hastie
Coming exclusively to Hubble & Hattie Kids! in September 2019, Catherine James' Book for children, Indigo Warriors: The Adventure Begins approaches the subject of stewardship over not-so-micro-pigs with an emphasis on responsibility.

Whilst the Kunekune of New Zealand is much smaller than other traditional breeds of pig, they’re by no means a ‘micro pig’ and can grow to be 100kg. There are plenty of materials from responsible sources on the internet about pig stewardship, so if you’re really thinking about bringing one or more of these commanding animals into your life (and not your living room) then make sure you’re definitely ready.

As the Chinese people and horoscope followers celebrate the Year of the Pig, we remember that they should be honoured and respected for their intelligence, personalities and strength. Here’s to a 2019 of good fortune!

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