Japan's First Pig Cafe Has Opened In Tokyo
Japan is no stranger to animal-themed cafes, and now it has a new one to add to its collection.
Mipig, a pig cafe where customers can enjoy a cup of tea and cuddle with a teacup pig, recently opened in Tokyo.
The concept is a "micro pig's house", Mipig explains on its website, with a cafe, several living rooms and an attic where visitors can play with the animals.
Mipig began as a fundraiser on crowdfunding site CampFire, with plans to build a 'micro pig' farm in Japan and introduce the country to these "beautiful and wise" animals.
The fundraiser raised 4.73 million yen (AUD $60,000), more than twice what founders were hoping for. In March, Mipig opened in Tokyo's Meguro ward.
"We would like Japanese people to feel more familiar with the animal and eventually become a beloved member of the family," founders said in a statement, reported by CNN.
While micro pigs have become popular pet choices -- helped in part by celebs like Ariana Grande -- it should be noted that no such 'mini' pig breed exists.
Customer demand for them worldwide has led to unscrupulous breeding practises, with National Geographic reporting some breeders inbreeding or underfeeding their pigs in order to keep them small.
PETA said it is regularly contacted by people who thought they bought a mini or teacup pig, only to have it grow to an unexpected size.
"Do not assume that a pig photographed at just a few days old will remain small after two or three years," it said.
"Use common sense, ask questions, ask for details of other pigs sold by the breeder in order that you may see the ‘finished product’, and above all, consider the long term commitment and responsibility of owning pigs."