This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and Julian and I had the much-anticipated opportunity to go and see Esther the Wonder Pig in her new home at Happily Ever Esther Sanctuary in Campbellville, Ontario. If you’re not sure who Esther is, she is a rescued pig who was thought to be a “mini pig” when couple Derek and Steve first welcomed her into their home. Even after being informed by a vet that Esther was likely not a mini pig after all due to her docked tail – a sign indicative of today’s animal agriculture practices – they had already fallen in love with her and 670 lbs of not-so-mini-pig later, their lives have changed completely. Soon after getting Esther, Derek and Steve made the connection between her and what they were eating and went vegan. Then last year they were able to purchase property in Campbellville and opened a Sanctuary in Esther’s name. I highly recommend checking out her Facebook page (it’s impossible not to feel better after reading it) and you can also read the post I wrote about her last year.
To mark the first Thanksgiving at Happily Ever Esther, a dinner was held and Julian, myself and two of our friends were lucky enough to secure tickets to go. The weather could not have been more perfect: a clear sky, autumn leaves, sunshine and of course, Esther. In addition to Esther, the farm is also home to 5 bunnies, 10 pigs, 3 cows, 4 goats, 4 sheep, 1 horse, 1 pony, 4 chickens and a peacock (at least by my count anyway) plus the two dogs and two cats that have been around since before Esther. The food was great, there was a live band and even gift bags that were lovingly put together and full of Esther swag! As any vegan can tell you, it’s a luxury to be able to exhale at any meal but especially those around the holidays that so often center around “meat”. No one had to deal with that this past Saturday though and it was a pleasure to be surrounded by the animals in their living and breathing form and to see them in person instead of on our plates.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a huge picture of Esther on the side of one building:
The Esther Store was close by:
Esther was everywhere (and rightfully so!):
The table settings were beautiful:
Before dinner, there was a tour to visit and feed the animals. First stop: the hens and rooster!
Then the horse and pony who, according to our guides, are inseparable:
Just like the horse and pony, these bunnies had never seen or eaten fresh vegetables prior to their rescue. They even had to learn how to hop properly since they’d only ever been kept in concrete enclosures. Never again thanks to their new digs!
Next up were a mother pig and her 5 babies that I took a quick video of. Were these babies not in a sanctuary, they would be slaughtered within the next month or so. The pregnant mother was rescued from an organic farm that could no longer afford to feed her.
Time to feed the goats, sheep and other pigs:
Come and get it!
Could you help me open this pumpkin please??
Sharing with a friend….
Are there any pumpkin leftovers in here….?
I try not to have favourites but I can’t help myself when it comes to cows. I adore them.
And now for the headliner – Esther the Wonder Pig!
Happy Thanksgiving, Esther!
Thanks to the band….
And to all the staff and volunteers for giving us such a wonderful day.
Until next time.
Indeed we have!