November 10th, 2010
12:41 PM ET

Piggy bank made of actual piglet sparks death threats

Thecheeky.com wants $4,000 for one of its Piglet Banks, which take a year to make.

Piggy banks have been used for centuries to save money, and more recently, to teach children the merits of saving portions of their allowances.

The often-cute devices are typically made of clay or porcelain and rarely, if ever, incite controversy – but, of course, that may be because they are typically made of clay or porcelain.

Thecheeky.com’s piggy bank is made of a real piglet, but fear not, pleads the site: The animals were turned into piggy banks after dying of natural causes.

“It’s a real piglet that has been taxidermied and inserted with what all piglets probably dream of as babies, a coin storage unit and a cork plug,” the Vancouver-based site said, using an altered photograph of a live piglet in its pitch.


The pig takes a year to make after it is ordered, and thecheeky.com wants half of the asking price - $2,000 – up front.

The Winnipeg Humane Society is not amused and is calling for a letter writing campaign to Vancouver Magazine, which recently ran an ad for the piggy banks.

“While animals are routinely killed for their meat and hides, this is a particularly callous and demeaning exploitation of a baby animal's dead body. It trivializes the life (and death) of a sentient being,” the animal rights group said on its website.

The Vancouver Sun’s Peter Fricker explored why the pigs are offensive in an article last week and eventually sided with the Humane Society’s - after playing devil’s advocate.

“I suppose it could even be argued that the taxidermied piggy bank is at least honest about its origins.  Unlike your animal-derived purse or wallet you have to look the product in the face,” Fricker wrote. “But somehow taking the dead bodies of baby pigs and turning them into novelty gifts for rich people to put their loose change in seems especially indecent.”

The Sun linked out to the British Columbia Agriculture Ministry site, which explains the breadth of products derived from pigs.

In addition to the obvious – pork chops and bacon, et al. – the ministry pointed out various parts of pigs are used for weed killers, rubber, floor wax, crayons, make-up, plastics, chalk, antifreeze, glue, protein for animal feed, leather-making substances, gloves, shoes, garments, paint brushes, insulation, upholstery, bone meal, water filters, insulin for diabetics and ventricles for special heart surgery.

Colin Hart, who told The Toronto Star that he created thecheeky.com for his more outrageous ideas (such as suitcase stickers designed to make your luggage look like it contains a body or bricks of cocaine), seemed surprised by the backlash.

“Most people understand it’s a bit of a joke,” he told the newspaper. “We’re not harming any animals. We’re not even considering it. It’s quite ridiculous what’s happening.”

He also noted that, at $4,000, it’s priced “a little out of the reach of people. Anybody, really.”

Hart, 34, told The Sun he was receiving hate mail and death threats, despite having yet to sell a Piglet Bank.

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Filed under: Animals • Business • Canada • Finance • Protest
soundoff (375 Responses)
  1. Ben

    I agree that the only offensive thing here is the price lol... I think it's a cool item and I actually own a very similar one, it was cast from a real piglet who had died of natural causes and it's always met with enthusiasm by guests in my home. (That item is made by Harry Allen and costs around $100 if you are a savvy shopper, for those interested). It's so obnoxious that people would get more up in arms with a taxidermied piglet who had died of natural causes but are ok with the pigs who are brutally killed every day to go into the things you need but you're ok with it because you don't have to see their faces, it's such backward logic! I understand this item would be in poor taste for most people but to each his own, it's not hurting anyone! And to the Leviticus lady.... Really?! I dare you to read ALL of Leviticus and follow every law that is laid down in it.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. songbird0573

    Oooh, oooh, I know....... let's make a baby doll out of a deceased preemie!!!

    November 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JinaSensei

    Amazes me that people are shocked that such a thing is being made. If you have the money people will sell you ANYTHING to get that money out your hands. Also, common things are boring. Think the rich settle for walmart mass produced things? One of a kind baby and this is exactly what it is. Where is this type of outcry when horrible things are being done to humans?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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