IS IT A PET OR DINNER?
The argument about whether to legalize Pot Belly Pigs as pets or not always comes down to a very simple question and that is "Are they pets or are they dinner?" Pot Belly Pig owners of course insist they are pets while many animal activists insist they are not pets, yet these are the same groups that typically do not want you to eat meat either. The viewpoint of the public in general is simple, if it is not a pet and not a wild animal then it must be a farm animal, which is for dinner. It may sound awful but it is how many Politicians and individuals perceive the pig picture to be. We argue with certain groups all the time over their belief that Pot Belly Pigs are not pets but no one should eat them either. Since Pot Belly Pigs are obviously not wild animals that can be put back in the wild and they are not good for eating, it obviously leaves only one other possibility and that is that they are pets, just like dogs, cats, guinea pigs, etc. The fact that they carry fewer germs than even dogs or cats tells us they are not a risk and we all know they are much quieter than any dog ever could be. People fighting to legalize Pot Belly Pigs in their city often tell us that they find that the problem is not so much trying to make the government officials aware that they are truly pets but that the problem is dealing with specific animal rights groups who somehow think that keeping Pot Belly Pigs from becoming legalized will somehow further their cause in getting people to not eat meat. That thinking is very self destructive to their true cause and sometimes it makes sense to explain this to them in the hopes that they will not be the ones fighting against you in your goal for legalization.
We have found that the truth is that individuals who have Pot Belly Pigs as pets many times will stop eating pork (ham) because they can not stand the thought of eating their darling little pet. Having Pot Belly Pigs as pets has probably done more to draw people away from eating meat than any other single approach. Having Pot Belly Pigs considered a pet also puts them into the protected class that dogs and cats enjoy, which in many cases means it would be illegal to eat a Pot Belly Pig. When working to legalize Pot Belly Pigs in your area you want to always check to see why the opposition believes the way they do. If they come back with, they are not pets, simply ask if that means they are dinner or wild animals. If they say they are farm animals remind them that means they are saying they are "dinner". Hopefully that will stop your opposition and hopefully they will help your cause.
As far as Pot Belly Pigs being dinner, people need to know that they are much to fatty and for a far less cost they can purchase a real hog. Again, does this anger animal activists? Of course. However, if we have to show the difference between Pot Belly Pigs and real pigs (hogs) you have to be able to explain that Pot Belly Pigs are pets and real pigs (hogs) are a farm animal used to eat. I realize there are people with real pigs (hogs) as pets but you can't fight the battle of saving farm pigs if you can't even get past saving Pot Belly Pigs as pets. Another reason that you may be able to persuade animal rights groups to be on your side to legalize them as pets.