Esther the Wonder Pig
Have you seen images of adorable “teacup” or “mini” pigs around the internet? These micro-sized piglets may have captured your heart- but they are a lie! There is no such thing as a mini pig, as Steve Jenkins can attest. Esther, his adorable farm pig, was given to him by a friend who was unable to keep her supposedly teacup pig. Her two babies and a dog just weren’t getting along with the little piglet. She assured Jenkins that Esther wouldn’t get to be more than 70 pounds!
Unfortunately, after Jenkins and his partner Derek Walter took Esther to the vet he gave them the bad news- Esther was actually a commercial farm pig. She was going to keep growing and growing well past the point of even a large sized dog. After 8 months, Esther was nearly 200 pounds and quickly outgrowing her home.
The couple fully adopted Esther into their home and their lives, she even befriended their family dogs, and she changed their worldview almost entirely. They adopted an “Esther-approved” vegan lifestyle, and pig-proofed their home. Esther is exceedingly smart for an animal, with an intelligence similar to a human toddler. She can open cabinets and doors, so the couple had to move their food to upper cabinets and lock doors to places Esther isn’t supposed to be!
Esther even sleeps on her very own twin sized mattress, and used to go for walks and car rides before she reached her over 600 pound size. When the couple realized her quality of life was decreasing when she wasn’t able to go for walks anymore, they opened up an Indiegogo to raise funds to buy a farm. They raised more than $400,000 to buy the place and opened up “The Esther Effect Farm Animal Sanctuary,” to provide a home for farm animals that need a better life.