February 11, 2017

"I accidentally bought a giant pig/I was told she was six months old, had come from a breeder and wouldn’t grow any bigger than a very large cat."

"We trained her like a puppy and took her to the vet after about a month. He took one look at her cropped tail and said, 'I think you have a problem on your hands.'..."
By the time we realised her size, we were in love. She’s unlike any animal I’ve met. Her intelligence is unbelievable. She’s house trained and even opens the back door with her snout to let herself out to pee. Her food is mainly kibble, plus fruit and vegetables. Her favourite treat is a cupcake. She’s bathed regularly and pigs don’t sweat, so she doesn’t smell.

If you look a pig closely in the eyes, it’s startling; there’s something so inexplicably human. When you’re lying next to her and talking, you know she understands. It was emotional realising she was a commercial pig. The more we discovered about what her life could have been, it seemed crazy to us that we ate animals, so we stopped.

32 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

This is too easy.

buwaya said...

Chorizo and lomo adobado.
Yum.

tim in vermont said...

I was thinking of buying a meat pig once. I saw one at Tractor Supply. The eyes looked more intelligent than my Labrador's. Couldn't do it.

I will pay others to do the dirty work.

Ex-prosecutor said...

For near daily updates, see "Ester the Wonder Pig" on Facebook.

Michael K said...

When it gets to 600 pounds they may want to reassess.

Tari said...

Okay, now I'm following a pig on Facebook. I'm such a sucker.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Well, Babe was cute. I recall reading that about 10 different piglets were used in the course of filming Babe because they grow so quickly and the title character had to remain small and lovable.

I like pigs. Where else would we get bacon and pork chops from?

Big Mike said...

Omnivores, like pigs and bears and monkeys and apes are all generally pretty smart. Humans too, of course, except maybe Progressive Democrats.

Achilles said...

If they are so smart why did they make themselves so tasty?

LarsPorsena said...

Soused pig's face...you can see what you eat.

traditionalguy said...

Babe's momma is out there somewhere searching for him. You know that's true. Your emotions are always right about these things.

Hogs lives matter! Wolves lives not so much.

chuck said...

Well, I suppose the altenative was to eat people, it's the original paleo diet.

chickelit said...

This was all hashed out 50 years ago: link

But then came the Rural Purge until after 50 years in the wilderness Donald Trump bringing them back.

The Godfather said...

This isn't a new story. A similar situation is described in The Good Good Pig, by Sy Montgomery, which is a very good read.

By the way: I've seen pigs and I've seen bacon. I am not convinced that there is any relationship between the two.

harryo said...

If you want to see something really neat, take a tour of the gelatin factory. I never knew where pig skins went, and now I know why I like Jello and Gummy Bears!

Here a good youtube on making candy from pigs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6EpmdAleEw

Um mm mmmmmm

Paco Wové said...

Like that pig wouldn't eat you given half a chance.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Ophthalmologists practice on pig's eyes 'cause they're very similar to the human eye. Maybe what you're seeing when you gaze into Porky's eyes is yourself.

John said...

A pig that size could come in handy.

Bricktop schools us:

https://youtu.be/2xUynRdzzsM?t=1m41s

John Henry

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

If you look a pig closely in the eyes, it’s startling; there’s something so inexplicably human.

No, there isn't; it's a pig, not a person.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The 4H kids here do a pig, lamb or steer for a project for fair. They raise the animal from a youngster. The idea is to learn to take care of the breed. Raise it to be healthy. Train it to be able to be shown.

At fair time the kids show their animal. There are very specific rules for each breed as to how it is paraded around the ring. They are brushed, washed, burnished to be gorgeous. And.....then the animals are sold at auction to be slaughtered for meat. The kids know this going in. They accept it as part of being a farmer, rancher, grower. While they mostly accept it, you can still see the pain in the kids faces. They are proud when they have a prize animal and know that their hard work has paid off....yet, the sadness of knowing your beloved animal (not a pet, but very close)is not going to be adopted to a nice family. Some of the kids are openly sobbing, especially the ones who have raised the pigs because as the article says, pigs are incredibly smart.

I stopped going to the auction because it made me so very sad. However, I do go in with another family and we split a lamb, half a pig or take a quarter of a steer. The meat is awesome. Some of the kids make many hundreds and even thousands of dollars in the auction to go towards college. The kid who raise bulls especially, because those animals are bought for breeding, not eating.

When my daughter was in 4H I gave her the option of raising a lamb,pig or even a rabbit, with the understanding that she can accept the end result. "Can you handle this? Will you be able to see your animal get auctioned off?" Knowing my daughter would never be able to do this because she falls in love with every cat, dog, mouse or other pet she has ever had.....the other option was ..."How about an art project. We can do some tole painting" So...we painted clocks.

walter said...

" When you’re lying next to her and talking, you know she understands."

Yeahhhhhhh

eddie willers said...

For the first time ever, I'm thinking, "I hope Laslo doesn't find this thread".

I want Esther to remain pure.

southcentralpa said...

Still figuring out my new smartphone so can't provide a link but it puts me in mind of the guy who hypothesised that humans are the result of a pig-ape hybrid with back-crosses

Eleanor said...

I grew up on a dairy farm. We didn't eat the cows, but the pig and the chickens were destined to be food. As kids we could name the cows, but Dad always named the pig. To be sure we understood her fate, she was always named something like Bacon or Chops. Pigs are one of the few domesticated farm animals who will eat you given the chance. I'm not sure I'd lay down with a 600 lb pig no matter how I felt about gazing into its eyes.

Jupiter said...

"We’d started a Facebook community for Esther, which grew rapidly, and we ran a crowdfunding campaign that allowed us to open our own farm sanctuary, where we now live."

Seems there's more than one way to raise pigs for a living.

John said...


Blogger Dust Bunny Queen said...

The 4H kids here do a pig, lamb or steer for a project for fair. They raise the animal from a youngster. The idea is to learn to take care of the breed. Raise it to be healthy. Train it to be able to be shown.

I went to the Burgundy Farm School (http://www.burgundyfarm.org/data/files/gallery/ContentGallery/thumb/xlg-ABOUTHistory1.jpg I'm the one on the left in the striped shirt)

It is located in Alexandria VA and we could see the Washington Monument from the playground. In 3rd grade, as a class project, we raised a pig from a piglet. We would feed it each morning and night and a parent would come in and feed it over the weekend.

When it was full grown, we slaughtered it and had a barbecue. When I say "we" slaughtered it, I mean the kids killed it, drained the blood and cut it up. Adult supervision and help with the heavy lifting of course, but we wielded the knives.

I don't remember feeling bad about it. Nice pig and all, it probably had a name, but we all knew the plan from the first day.

We also, probably in 3rd grade but maybe 2nd, visited a slaughterhouse and watched cows come in, get conked with a sledge, bled and butchered.

We did a lot of field trips. I specifically remember a bakery and a dairy.

We knew where our food came from. Not just in theory.

John Henry

Bad Lieutenant said...

I'm involved with a Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Westchester County in New York. I was considering having a post-apocalyptic prepping / survival event where my old rifle instructor would come down from Lake George and take a deer carcass and field dress and butcher it for the assembled, then we would have a barbecue with venison. I'm not sure where we get the deer but since he works for Cornell extension I figured he would have an angle.

Mark said...

Never sleep with something you're going to eat.

TheThinMan said...

Hey Ann, this calls for a link to James Taylor's song, "Mona." That was the name of his pet pig, and the song is a elegy to her.

Unknown said...

From the article: " A woman in the US recently wrote, “Thank you for showing my two young boys that it’s OK to have two dads.”"

I don't see the connection to having a large pet pig.

Yancey Ward said...

For the first time ever, I'm thinking, "I hope Laslo doesn't find this thread".

LOL!

carrie said...

Pigs will eat people. I hope they don't make the pig mad.