Rescued Pig Becomes Family Member, Not Family Dinner

Rescued Pig Becomes Family Member, Not Family Dinner

For Immediate Release:
January 16, 2014

Allison Lakomski 202-483-7382

Toronto – When Toronto residents Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter agreed to provide a friend’s recently purchased “minipig” with a loving home, they had no idea that Esther would turn into a full-size hog who now weighs 375 pounds (and is still growing). Nor did they have any idea that Esther’s loving, curious, and playful nature would win their hearts and that she’d become a permanent addition to their family.

Esther “the Wonder Pig” is an essential part of the household:

  • Extremely curious and intelligent, Esther has prompted Steve and Derek to childproof—or pigproof—the house. She can operate door handles, open cabinets, and even crack open the freezer.
  • She loves snuggling up to the family dogs for an afternoon nap and doesn’t let her size stop her from climbing onto the couch with her human companions.
  • Although Esther loves to dig in the yard and swim in the pond, her favorite games are social ones: She loves to play tug-of-war and to run and play with the family dogs, and she’ll instigate games of tag with her human family members, gently tapping them on the legs and then standing back, waiting to be chased.

Esther—who, as Steve points out, was “bred for somebody’s dinner” and has been “given … a chance to be herself”—has inspired the couple to avoid eating animals, and they think she’ll have a positive effect on anyone else she meets. “We want people to make the connection between Esther and the millions of pigs exactly like her who weren’t so lucky,” he says. “To show that given the chance, these animals grow to become the most amazing and compassionate animals you’ll ever meet. I look into her eyes, and I see someone looking straight back. Someone who knows and loves me just as we do her.”

More information about Esther is available on PETA’s blog and her Facebook page.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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