I follow the Portland Guinea Pig Rescue on Facebook. (I am very fond of All Things Guinea Pig, and organizations that look after neglected or needy piggies have a special place in my heart.) They recently posted some information about cuy guinea pigs, and it was especially touching, because it contains a good life lesson for everyone, including guinea pigs. I have reposted it below in its entirety; all credit should be to the Rescue.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Cuy Edition
We are giving you another opt-out/opt-in opt-ion for another long post today.
The long short: Cuy are a type of guinea pig that are bred for consumption. They are much larger than a regular pig, usually at least 4 pounds, but sometimes 7 or more pounds. Coloration and features vary, but mostly they're orange and white with smooth coats.
The long long: Poor cuy. People adopt these mostly-feral livestock pigs while they're young thinking they're mature guinea pigs and become dismayed when they (A) don't become tame and (B) grow to the size of small Tonka trucks. Who wants a pet that produces sooo much waste and triples your feeding costs, all while hiding and screaming when you are near?
Maybe some people, sure, but it takes a special breed to love a special breed, and most folks just want to share their home with a normal and even affectionate pet.
That's why when we take in cuy they're immediately granted sanctuary status. So few people are prepared to love and nurture a pet that, with a lot of patience on your part, might grow to come outside their pigloo and look blandly at you.
But if you lower your expectations and give them regular treats and lap time you will be rewarded with...not love exactly, but they'll be easier to catch and scoop up for hugs and kisses.
We cherish our cuy because it's an exercise in loving someone for all that they are and only what they are; for giving not what we want to give, but what they need to receive.
We think it's a good lesson overall.
17 hours ago