Guinea Pig Finds That ‘Heaven Is Under [His] Feet’ After PETA Rescue

Published by Alisa Mullins.

Thoreau, a 1-year-old guinea pig, was leading a life of “quiet desperation” in a cramped, filthy cage when his indigent owner’s social worker suggested that she call PETA and give the animal a chance to, in the words of his namesake, advance “confidently in the direction of his dreams.”

Thoreau the guinea pig being held

Now comfortably ensconced in a PETA foster home, Thoreau is living “in each season as it passes; breath[ing] the air, drink[ing] the drink, and tast[ing] the fruit”—as well as the carrots and the occasional cookie, which he gratefully accepts with excited squeaks.

Cute brown-and-white guinea pig with a partially eaten carrot

Inquisitive and sociable, Thoreau is avidly interested in everything going on around him, taking particular delight in overseeing the cleaning of his enclosure, after which he normally takes several victory laps before settling down to rearrange things to his liking and construct tunnels underneath his towels and blankets.

Cute brown-and-white guinea pig wrapped in purple towel

Thoreau likes a good ear scratch as much as the next guinea pig, but (taking a cue from the author of Walden) he isn’t averse to the “companionable” companion of solitude and can often be heard chattering away to himself.

Like his namesake, Thoreau can “never have enough of Nature.” He loves taking outdoor excursions, relishing the taste of fresh green grass, and even raising his face to soak up the rays of the “morning star.”

Thoreau, a brown-and- white guinea pig, eating hay

Do you have a good home that would welcome the addition of a literary guinea pig? Help Thoreau “live the life which he has imagined”: E-mail [email protected].

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind