Most people are well aware of the cruelty that occurs in factory farms, but what they don’t often hear about is the cruelty taking place in small scale farming operations.
Like it or not, when animals are being used to turn a profit, the number one priority is never their welfare. At Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary (of which I am president and co-founder) we hear about cases of cruelty and abuse every day, and although we can’t save them all, we do our best to help animals in desperate situations…and so the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs‘ began.
When we first saw the pictures of these little guys we were horrified, much like you are probably feeling now. Confined to a tiny cage saturated with their own feces, barely able to walk or even turn around, and practically all skin and bones, we knew we couldn’t turn a blind eye to their suffering.
These poor pigs led a lonely life only ever knowing of each other’s existence through sound but never sight. They never knew sunlight, and they were never allowed to go outside to stretch their legs. Not being able to exercise has caused one of the pigs to lose all the strength in his back legs to the point where he can only drag himself from place to place.
Despite all the misconceptions that pigs are dirty animals, they are actually some of the cleanest you will ever meet. They would never even dream of going to the toilet where they sleep or eat, but these pigs lived in a space smaller than that of a single bed and they were never cleaned out.
For years they lived like this, given just enough food to keep them alive. Can you even begin to imagine how they must have felt? Starving, alone, weak and afraid…day after day waiting for food, waiting for love, waiting for freedom.
They never knew that beyond those four walls that confined them was a whole other world. A kind world where they would be able to feel the sunshine on their backs and the earth beneath their feet. A world where they would be free to snuffle from morning to night, feast on fresh fruit and vegetables and explore the wonders of the forest.
After many long days and sleepless nights trying to secure their rescue, we eventually managed to get them out of there.
When we finally opened the van doors to welcome them to the sanctuary and a life free from pain and suffering, their debilitated bodies moved us to tears. Filled with mixed emotions of deep sadness and empathy, along with the hope and promise of a better future, we welcomed them into their new home and blessed them with their new names: Gandalf, Frodo and Arwen.
With an abundance of fresh straw bedding these new inhabitants of the sanctuary were able to experience the joys of nest building for the first time ever, and boy did they look contented. As you can imagine we were super excited to see them outdoors but when given the chance, they were too afraid to leave their little house, apprehensive of the unknown, instead choosing to smell the fresh air and watch the wonders of the world from the comfort of their nest. It may be a while before these three piggies are able to overcome the mental trauma of their haunting past.
They are still desperately fearful but with a little time and a lot of love we are confident they will begin to trust again. Our mission is to give belly rubs all around by Christmas!
Meet Gandalf, Frodo and Arwen for yourself and find out how you can help here.