Pigs seem to be all over the news lately—whether it's the couple of thousand who made a break for freedom after the truck they were being transported in crashed, or Bubba Sue, posing on the front cover of Paper with her naked human companion. But the brother and sister duo Priscilla and Poppleton have become Internet celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, who follow their daily activities as the savviest dressing teacup pigs around. And their human companion, Melissa, hopes that through these pictures she can show us just how intelligent, affectionate and characterful these oft-misunderstood creatures can be—and remind us that they are friends, not food.
The adorable pigs live with their human mom, Melissa Nicholson, in Ponte Vedre Beach, Florida. Their trajectory to internet stardom began when Nicholson dressed them up in a couple of festive frocks—and as the pictures went viral, she continued to dress them up in fancy outfits (originally designed for pups), to educate not only their online fans, but also students at the school where she teaches about the importance of caring for our animal friends.
Indeed, Nicholson has even started an online store selling all manner of cute attire devoted to spreading the message that pigs are “friends, not food,” and she admits that it was only after she took in the stylish swines that she reverted to vegetarianism after a 20 year lapse. And its not just pigs that she’s advocating for—the proceeds from the Priscilla and Poppleton store go to animal rescue charities.
As with any pets, pigs do, of course require special attention and care—and tea cup pigs are in reality pot-bellied pigs that can grow up to be a perfectly normal size of between 80 and 160lbs. And there’s a huge problem with people opting for a cute little pig, only to abandon it when it grows to be the weight of an average human. But larger pigs can make excellent house pets—and are more than smart enough to be trained and domesticated, and even walked on a leash—as long as you don’t plan to go anywhere fast.