Happy National Pig Day!

Did you know that March 1 is National Pig Day? The celebration began 40 years ago; in 1972, sisters Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave founded National Pig Day, as Rave asserted, "to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and domesticated animals."

So, to answer your question, no, it is not in fact an excuse to put extra bacon on that cheeseburger, but each of us celebrates in her own way, we suppose. Shine Pets honors our porcine friends with these five pop-culture factoids about pigs.

1. George Clooney's pet pig, the late Max, was purchased as a gift for his then girlfriend, Kelly Preston -- now John Travolta's wife. Max, born in 1987 (and pictured here on Clooney's Wikipedia page -- the picture is awesome), lived to nearly twenty years old, dying of natural causes in 2006 -- but not before he hitched a ride on the Travoltas' private jet; saved Clooney's life by waking him up before the Northridge earthquake in 1994; and survived accidentally getting run over by one of Clooney's friends. (How do you "accidentally" run over a 300-pound animal, we'd like to know.)

2. Muppet and feminist icon Miss Piggy released her own perfume in 1998. Miss Piggy (surname "Lee") is a branding force on par with Sean Combs; not only did she issue a perfume, called "Moi," but she wrote a bestselling book ("Miss Piggy's Guide to Life"), had her own workout album, and has served as a judge on "Project Runway All-Stars."

VIDEO: French bulldog plays mom to piglets

3. The "pig" who played Babe in the first "Babe" movie is actually 48 different Yorkshire pigs, and an animatronic double. Because pigs grow so fast, the production had to replace the Babes constantly. Between the pigs, the sheepdogs, and various other animal actors involved in the story, 56 animal trainers were on set.

4. Three different actors have voiced Wilbur, the young pig in "Charlotte's Web." The 1973 animated version put Henry Gibson ("Laugh-In") in the Wilbur role; the 2006 film starred Dominic Scott Kay ("Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"); and the straight-to-video "Charlotte's Web 2" featured David Beron.

5. Porky Pig's stutter was real.
At least at first it was; the original voice actor behind the Looney Tunes character, Joe Dougherty, did suffer from a speech impediment. Unfortunately, Dougherty couldn't always control it, and dialogue recording sessions took a long time as a result -- which meant that Dougherty was eventually replaced with Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Tasmanian Devil, Barney Rubble, and many others.

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