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The Pig Apple: A History of NYC's Illegal Pet

Stashed in: Piggies!, New York, Freakonomics, Pets!

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Should pigs be allowed as pets?

New York State Senator Avella asks “why not” keep a pig for a pet, if the animal is properly trained? The Health Department says pigs can’t be vaccinated for rabies. The pigs’ peoplesay their pigs are “gentle” and “clean” and “brought joy back” to their grieving family.

Pigs are high-maintenance!

In nature, pigs are regarded as prey, and are therefore naturally suspicious, cautious creatures. They have to be coaxed and rewarded. You cannot force a pig to do anything he doesn’t want to do; it has to be his idea. 

Don’t expect your pig to eagerly greet you at the door and fetch your slippers. Having a pet pig is kind of like having a perpetual two-year old child. 

It is because pigs are so intelligent that they can be so stubborn, demanding and manipulative. Pigs can become easily bored, grumpy, depressed, sedentary and even destructive and aggressive, if not given adequate attention by a loving caregiver. 

While the daily cost of keeping a pig is relatively low, if a pig becomes ill, vet bills can be unmanageable for some people. Qualified potbellied pig vets are unavailable in some areas. You need to locate a vet that will care for pet pigs before you bring one home. Often you will find you must travel quite some distance to find quality care.

How about a pot bellied pig instead?

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