Today in things-that-you-can’t-readily-get-at-the-moment we’re talking about the world’s most significant supermarket own-branded porcine delicacy: Percy Pigs.
First up: let me blow your mind. Percy Pigs have existed since 1992.
Yes, I know. There is no way that is true. Mandela Effect shenanigans aside, I’m sure I would remember if Percy Pigs were around when I was young. As far as I’m concerned, Percy Pigs came into existence around 2008 and we’ve taken them for granted since then.
Oh, can I blow your mind a second time? The official flavour of Percy Pigs is “grape and raspberry“.
Yes, I know. There is no way that is true either. Percy Pigs taste nothing like either grapes (red or green) or raspberry. Percy Pigs taste like Percy Pigs. And I won’t hear any different.
And now let me blow your mind for a third and final time. There is an official Percy Pigs timeline. And the moral implications are fascinating…
The official Percy Pig timeline, Part I
According to Marks & Spencer, the tale of Percy Pig begins in 1992 with the launch of the original Percy Pig bag. I still dispute this. But I’m willing to accept their version of events for now. It’s unclear how old Percy is meant to be at this stage, but he’s not a child. Presumably, he’s in his late teens/early twenties. Or however that translates into pig years.
Already I have questions. Is there just one Percy Pig, or many? When we eat a bag of Percys, we eat multiple ‘units’ of Percy Pig. So either these are clones of Percy Pig, or they are edible effigies. In fact, we must assume the latter to be true as Percy lives on after we consume him.
This brings us to 2002, where we learn more about Percy. Specifically: that he has FRIENDS.
And I mean, good for him. It’s proper for a pig to have pals. Even if they are a cola cow, and orange and strawberry sheep. But this is all par for the course. It’s not until 2013 that things get really interesting.
The official Percy Pig timeline, Part II
In 2013, Percy meets Penny. And they fall in love.
How adorable! Penny is officially described as a “lovely lemon and vanilla-flavoured girl” (lol). And we celebrate their love by once again consuming their effigies in copious amounts. Nonetheless, Percy’s story is progressing.
Which makes it very confusing as to why Percy promptly effs off on a gap year one in 2014.
At first, I thought this was just Percy going on a little jaunt. But it raises a lot of questions:
- Where is Penny during all this? Is she ok? Why isn’t she with Percy?
- Is this some kind of ‘lads on tour’ situation?
- If this is Percy’s gap year, does this mean he has at least a level of higher education? With the potential for further education to follow? What could he possibly be studying?
- What kind of baller is Percy to have an enormous car that can sit a pig, a panda, and a fully grown tiger side-by-side? Plus a personalised license plate to boot?
Also, a weird nugget from the official timeline: “on his return, he honours his friends in sweet form“. This heavily implies that Percy manufactures the sweets himself in a ritualistic fashion. But if the original bag was just sweets of him… does that mean he was honouring himself? Marks and Spencers’ silence on this question is damning.
The official Percy Pig timeline, Part II
Post-2010, we see the arrival of two similar products: Percy Pig – Piglets and Percy Pig and Family.
It appears congratulations are in order! Let us consume the jelly pig sweets once more.
But wait, let’s pause. Is it really ethical to celebrate the birth of new life by eating depictions of it? What are we really doing here? Why are we presented with the story and life of this cartoon pig as an excuse to launch new soft jelly products?
Percy Pigs have been nominally vegan for a while (depending on your stance on beeswax). So this isn’t a question of the substances in question. I want to know if it’s right to emotionally invest in the life story of a character only so far as it’s necessary to satisfy our sugar cravings.
The answer, it seems to me, must be that is FINE. Given that Percy is apparently producing them himself as a way of celebrating his own life, a kind of gelatinous autobiography, I say we must support him in every way we can.
In the language of Kant’s categorical imperative, it is an unconditional requirement that must be obeyed in all circumstances and is justified as an end in itself.