Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Esther the Wonder Pig

Esther the Wonder Pig
Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter & Caprice Crane

In the past year, I have learned so much about myself, my eating habits, and what eating meat not only does to my body, but also to the planet. I happened to listen to a podcast about 6 months ago where Russell Simmons spoke of eating animals and why he quit eating meat. Without getting in to the details, he talked about factory farming and the horrific conditions in which animals are slaughtered, and how we, the consumers essentially eat the stress of the animal. Much of what he said made a lot of sense, so I decided to try to cut out meat from my diet. It was surprisingly easy, and I didn't miss eating meat, though many told me I would. Then I read this story about a sweet little pig named Esther, and how she came to live with Steve and Derek. I flew through the pages of the book, and was really entertained by the way Steve writes about Esther. Yes, it was funny and charming, but more importantly, it resolved my strength to show compassion to animals in my life, and more broadly in the world. While reading, I couldn't help but laugh and think about the parallels between Steve (Me) and Derek (My husband). I'm always bringing animals home, and my husband is always threatening me "don't bring another animal home!" 

While this book does not push a vegan or vegetarian agenda, I think it raises some points that we all should consider, and Esther has become one of the faces for animal rights. I think that is wonderful, and I think the broader message is that if we could all raise the level of consciousness for what we eat, that is never a bad thing. 

In the summer of 2012, Steve Jenkins was contacted by an old friend about adopting a micro piglet. Though he knew his partner Derek wouldn't be enthusiastic, he agreed to take the adorable little pig anyway, thinking he could care for her himself. Little did he know, that decision would change his and Derek's lives forever. It turned out there was nothing "micro" about Esther, and Steve and Derek had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, Tiny Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds. After some real growing pains and a lot of pig-sized messes, it became clear that Esther needed much more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and other animals in need. Funny, heartwarming, and utterly charming, ESTHER THE WONDER PIG follows Steve and Derek's adventure--from reluctant pig parents to farm-owning advocates for animals.
Note: Thanks to an incredible Kickstarter campaign that was funded by donors, Steve and Derek purchased the farm. A truly remarkable story that highlights the collective kindness that makes the world an awesome place to be!   To read an excerpt, click HERE
Happy Reading! 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for an early copy of the book. I received this book in exchange for a fir and honest review. 

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