GLENDALE, Ariz. -- PETA made comments and sent Yoenis Cespedes vegan bacon after he sent his prized pig to the butcher. Dioner Navarro offered his own message Thursday — my micro pig isn’t for dinner.
Unlike his counterpart, the White Sox catcher plans for his pet pig to be around much longer than a digestive cycle or two.
Last month, Navarro purchased a pet micro pig named Sassy for his wife as a Valentine’s Day gift. Navarro said Thursday that micro pigs can live for up to 30 years, an expected lifespan far greater than that of the 270-pound hog that the New York Mets outfielder reportedly purchased for $7,000 on Saturday.
Cespedes' $7000 pig at the St. Lucie County Fair (Sandy Croghan)
Cespedes has since drawn the ire of PETA as the Mets confirmed the pig was sent to a butcher several days after the highly publicized purchased at the St. Lucie County Fair.
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Navarro promises that Sassy has a much brighter future.
“This pig is going to live like a fricking princess in my house,” Navarro said.
The micro pig is one of several rare animals that Navarro, his wife Sherley, and their three sons keep as pets. They also have a French bulldog, a bearded dragon, a Nigerian Uromastyx, a chinchilla and a cat. Navarro’s wife grew up on a farm in Puerto Rico and raised goats, pigs and horses. Navarro, who grew up in a small town near Caracas, Venezuela, said he never had any pets as a child.
“We never saw those things,” Navarro said. “Ever since I met my wife we’ve been attached to animals. The fact I wasn’t able to experience all that as a kid and now I’ve got an opportunity to experience it with my kids and my wife is huge.”
Navarro’s wife has wanted a micro pig for some time. They did their research and have a decent idea of what to expect, though Navarro said there’s no guide for raising a micro pig. He and his wife drove 90 minutes from their home in Tampa, Fla. on Feb. 14 to pick and purchase the pig for $850. Navarro said the farmer owned a 45-year-old micro pig and offered specialty pigs for up to $5,000.
“They’re really clean, they’re really smart,” Navarro said. “All you’ve got to do is feed them. They use the cat litter as a toilet. They never do their business where they sleep, so she always goes to the cat litter.
“You’ve got to feed them every two to three hours and just get used to the personality.”
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A paper published by Emory University last summer suggested pigs are pretty smart.
According to the findings, pigs can “prioritize important memories,” they engage in “social play” with other pigs and can even understand and use pointing and “other indicating actions” by humans.
Navarro is under the impression Sassy can be trained to go outside instead of in the cat litter box. But even if she can’t, she’ll be spared a trip to the butcher.
“(My wife) did all the research that said you can even train them to go outside and do their business,” Navarro said. “So we’ll see how that goes.”