The provocation: A Vancouver-based online store called TheCheeky.com is offering to fashion a taxidermied piglet into a piggy bank, sparking an angry backlash from animal rights activists. The Winnipeg Humane Society called the "piglet bank" an "in-your-face trivialization of what was once a living being." The Cheeky co-owner Colin Hart, who intended the product as a joke, says he's been getting "hateful emails and death threats." Hart says he's priced the bank so high — $4,000 — that he probably won't get any takers, but that, if a buyer does come forward, he'll use a piglet that died of natural causes.
The reaction: This is "the height of tastelessness," says Bev Hahler at This Dish is Vegetarian. It's "a sick twist on an old classic," says Michael D'Estries at the Mother Nature Network. But the angry animal lovers are only fueling interest in the item, says Larry Knowles at AOL News. Very few people knew about the piglet bank until the outcry. Now TheCheeky.com is getting 50,000 hits a day, and plenty of people know where to go if they want a taxidermied piglet bank. Here's the store's product mock-up: