vegansaurus!

02/10/2014

Exclusive Interview: Meet the Dads of Esther the Wonder Pig!  »

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Thanks to her dads Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter, tens of thousands of fans (us included!) get to peek into the surprising and always adorable daily doings of Esther The Wonder Pig, the clever, undeniably photogenic 400-pound pig! It’s truly a delight each day to browse Steve and Derek’s witty status updates and glamorous pics of Esther living her genius, safe, and cozy life in Toronto with her loving dads and dog siblings!

Vegansaurus’ Sarah E. Brown interviewed Esther’s loving dads about life with Esther, how she came into their lives, and their future plans to continue spreading awareness about pigs as pets, not food.

Vegansaurus: What surprised you most about adopting Esther when she was a “mini-pig”?

Steve & Derek: How much attention she needed. It was like having a child running around the house. We couldn’t let her out of our sight or she would get into everything!

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V: How did you two meet? How long have you been together? How long into your relationship did Esther come into the picture?

S&D: We’ve been together for over 13 years now. Steve is a realtor, Derek is a professional magician. We met as teenagers working at a restaurant. Esther didn’t come along until about 12 years in.

V: On social media, we all get to see the amazing images of Esther in her full glory—we also get to see her sassy personality. How did you decide to start documenting her presence in your life through social media and your website? And who posts most of the updates?

S&D: We really only wanted somewhere to share her with family and friends. We had no idea she would become so popular, so quickly. This has been a really unexpected and sometimes overwhelming experience. We had no idea she would touch so many people in such a deep and profound way. It’s amazing. Steve mostly does the updates, but Derek adds in his fair share of input.

V: How did you decide to name her Esther?

S&D: We just wanted a fun and “comfortable” name. For whatever reason, Esther seemed like a very traditional, human name and it just clicked. There wasn’t really any sort if inspiration in particular, it just worked.

V: You’ve recently gotten a lot of press, and over 76,000 followers on Facebook (congrats!). In your recent Mercy For Animals (MFA) interview, you talked about how people have reached out to you. What’s the coolest connection you’ve made so far since adopting Esther and telling your story?

S&D: That’s really hard to answer. We’ve heard from some incredible people. Some that still make our heads spin to be honest. We got to do an interview with Sam Simon, and we’ve been on Ellen’s good news blog. Friends at Mercy for animals and PETA have shared about us. There have been some amazing people that run blogs of their own, and have become good friends already. We even have some celebrity followers on Twitter. It’s really crazy.

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V: Besides apples, what are Esther’s favorite foods?

S&D: She loves pretty much any fruit or candy. They’re just like humans so if it’s a treat for us, it’s a treat to her.

V: Do you recommend adopting a pig? What is your advice to someone thinking of adopting a pig in an urban setting?

S&D: Be super careful. They are a ton of work and will require some major life adjustments. We had to pig proof our house, learn how to manage and train her and it’s way different than a dog. Pigs are so smart! Esther can open doors, cupboards, and even our fridge. We had to re-evaluate where we keep everything! It was a huge learning curve. We wouldn’t really advise it only because if the work it took. She’s awesome now but caused many a soul searching conversations. It was tough. We wouldn’t trade her for the world but it definitely wasn’t easy. Our advice is do plenty of research and make sure you’re up for the challenge. If you do decide you’re up for it, know it is the most incredible and rewarding experience of our lives. She really opened our eyes and as far as we’re concerned, made us better people. We love her like you wouldn’t believe.

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V: Are there any resources that helped you when you first went vegan or first adopted Esther (i.e. pig care tips, etc.) that you’d like to share?

S&D: We found it really hard to get information and hope to change that. We learned on our own as we went along, taking the odd note from websites or our vet. That was the hardest part: How the hell do you teach a pig?

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V: Do you have any future plans you’d like to share with our readers?

S&D: We do want to start a sanctuary and will start fundraising very soon. We’ll be opening the Esther store on our website

Thanks so much, Esther’s Dads, Derek and Steve! And thanks to Esther for being so, well, wonderful!

All images included with permission by and courtesy of Derek and Steve and Esther the Wonder Pig.

12/09/2011

This is Farm Sanctuary’s new rescued piglet, Eric. I can’t. ERIC IS A PIG HUGGING ANOTHER PIG. I am giving Farm Sanctuary everything I have. This is why I’m vegan. This pig is so spiritually rich, I love him so much. I can’t even form sentences right now.

This is Farm Sanctuary’s new rescued piglet, Eric. I can’t. ERIC IS A PIG HUGGING ANOTHER PIG. I am giving Farm Sanctuary everything I have. This is why I’m vegan. This pig is so spiritually rich, I love him so much. I can’t even form sentences right now.

07/01/2011

Banning sale of downer pigs in California? YES PLEASE.  »

It could happen, folks. This case is going all the way to the Supreme Court and God and Asshole Lobbyists willing, the judges won’t be total dumbasses about it. Light a candle, people, because this is something we know we can’t count on. You see, there was a law passed banning the sale of downer pigs (yay!) and then the American Meat Association was all, “BUT BUT BUT WAHHHHH!!!” and then they did what they did best: threw tons of money at the problem! Brilliant! Why didn’t we think of that! Oh that’s right, there the only ones who aren’t FLAT BROKE. It pays to abuse animals! Anyway, as soon as the AMA raised a fuss, that shit was overturned in Fresno, Calif., and now the battle goes to the Supreme Court. 

Care.com breaks it down:

If the state law of California can hamper the pork production and profit making of the pork industry, other states might then be able to enact similar laws, further cutting into industry profits. The meat packers want to overturn such a ban and the efforts of a very large state such as California to regulate slaughterhouse operations in a way they don’t like. If the the Supreme Court rules against the ban on using lame pigs for meat, then it may become the legal framework preventing any other states from ever enacting a similar ban, and therefore the meat packing industry wins the whole game. Also if the the meat packing plants can legally  simply shove all the lame and sick pigs into the grinder so to speak, there won’t be any evidence of animal disease, neglect or abuse remaining.

The Supreme Court will begin reviewing the case in October: National Meat Association vs. Harris, 10-224.

An aside: I love Herbivore’s BACON HAD A MOM t-shirt, and think they should add a: YOUR BACON WAS A PIG WHO COULDN’T WALK BECAUSE SHE’D BEEN ABUSED SO BADLY ENJOY YOUR BREAKFAST, ASSHOLE. You like?!

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