Ah, the venerable piggy bank, home to the hopes and dreams of children everywhere. But in a sick twist on an old classic, one Canadian-based business is offering piggy banks made from real piglets. 

"Designed for anyone who has far too much money and loose change, this is the piggy bank of all piggy banks,” says the site TheCheeky.com. The banks, which take 12 months to create, cost $4,000. 

Needless to say, animal rights advocates are incensed at the idea — especially when Vancouver Magazine included the concept in its recent Holiday Gift Guide.

“While animals are routinely killed for their meat and hides, this is a particularly callous and demeaning exploitation of a baby animal's dead body. It trivializes the life (and death) of a sentient being,” said the Winnipeg Humane Society on its website. The group has organized a write-in campaign denouncing the product. 

Colin Hart, the guy behind the pigs and TheCheeky.com says the idea is being presented as a bit of a joke — especially considering the ridiculously high price. He also adds that the piglets were not bred for this purpose; they died from natural causes. 

“Most people understand it’s a bit of a joke,” he told The Toronto Star. “We’re not harming any animals. We’re not even considering it. It’s quite ridiculous what’s happening.”

According to Hart, since the product's launch he's received hate mail and death threats, despite having yet to sell a Piglet Bank.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Piggy banks made from real piglets spark outrage
What to get that person who has everything? Not this.