One of the things I learned early on as a new vegan is you have to temper the horrors with some happy otherwise you’ll blow your brains out. It’s why I don’t read any graphic books before going to bed and keep lighter reading on my bedside table (a friend of mine just lent me the-not-vegan-related-but-ironically-titled Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui of Lainey Gossip, and I can’t put it down). Despite the steaming pile of shit-dung I think the world is most days, there is still a lot of joy to be found and I have to learn to discover that too, even as I see the bad.
I already have a few go-to videos I watch when I feel like it’s becoming too much. Like Farm Sanctuary’s Spring Chicken video which is literally just happy and healthy chickens running around a yard being adorable and unintentionally hilarious. I also love this kid in the bathtub with his dog. And full disclosure: I am a sucker for a montage video of people wiping out, falling over or tripping. Even when I trip or fall, I think to myself, Man, I bet that was funny to watch. So when a friend sent me an email yesterday with the subject heading, “Esther the Wonder Pig”, I knew I was in for some joy.
Esther the Wonder Pig is a 2-year old, 530 lb. pig that lives with couple Steve and Derek. Esther was 3 lbs when they first opened their home to her. Her cropped tail was indicative of the tail docking that occurs in factory farming although her exact history isn’t mentioned (and may not be known as is often the case with rescues).
To say she has changed the course of Steve and Derek’s life, along with their two cats and two dogs, would be an understatement: they have recently put an offer on for a farm just outside of Toronto (which has been accepted with conditions) so they can open an Animal Sanctuary not only for Esther but to take in other food industry animals who might need a refuge one day. They’ve started an Indiegogo campaign online to help raise money and have posted several videos of Esther. I think I could watch the video of Esther having a bath in their tub on repeat. It’s not particularly exciting or funny, it’s just…I don’t know. There’s something captivating about its simplicity.
Sometimes it really is the simple things in life that can make you forget the cruelty for a moment and just smile. Enjoy.