Can One Pig Change People’s Love for Bacon?

Do you think one pig can change people’s love for bacon?

Absolutely, if Esther the Wonder Pig has anything to snort about it!

For those of you who don’t know about Esther, she’s a pet pig who was adopted back in 2012 by Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter, two Ontario men who were under the impression she was of the ‘micro pig’ varietal. But two years later, weighing in at over 600 pounds, Esther is anything BUT micro.

So what’s a pig owner to do? For these former pork eaters-turned vegans, the choice was simple. Keep and love Esther, and embrace her as part of their family (which also includes two dogs and two cats).

Photo Credit: Esther the Wonder Pig

But that wasn’t enough. They began sharing their Esther journey online (quickly racking up thousands of fans and followers), exposing the compassionate, loving side of Esther and raising awareness about the brutality of life for most pigs.

Steve and Derek share their intentions clearly on Esther the Wonder Pig’s Facebook page: ”We want to help show you that she understands everything we say to her. She knows what’s happening, and she feels every emotion we do. She is not a product, or a piece of pork.”

If you follow Esther online, you can’t help but notice how smart and sweet pigs can be. Esther oozes personality, making her an ideal champion to transform people’s perceptions about pigs as being more than just meat on a plate.

Photo Credit: Esther the Wonder Pig

To be clear, Steve and Derek’s goal is not to actively promote pigs as pets. On the contrary, the pair cautions potential pig parents about the amount of work it takes to raise a pet pig. They advise those considering owning a pig to do LOTS of pet pig research first.

For Esther followers, what they get is a real sense that this animal has soul and intelligence, and the ability to inspire them to tap into their own compassion.

It’s also pretty darn fun tracking Esther’s antics online. The captions that accompany her photos are often humorous and relatable. Picture a 600+ pound pig spread out on the (entire) living room couch, with the caption, “I’m sorry were you hoping to sit down?”

It’s hard to bite into a pork sandwich guilt-free after seeing a photo of Esther and her dog siblings in their kitchen patiently waiting to be served a treat, or curled up with one of her dads under a blanket.

But what is the likelihood of transforming our bacon-obsessed society simply by sharing one pig’s journey online? If Esther could talk, my guess is she would say something like, “there’s only one way to find out!”

If Esther’s dads are any indication, it’s possible. They switched to a vegan diet after meeting Esther, and there are countless examples of others who develop pig compassion over time and switch to pork-free living, like this guy.

You know the saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Esther’s dads appear to be doing just that, and it seems to be resonating with LOTS of people. Esther has over 170,000 Facebook fans and close to 40,000 Instagram followers (and growing), a fan club and YouTube channel. But that’s not all.

Esther the Wonder Pig’s team now has a Facebook community called Esthers Army, self-described as “the campaign headquarters for change” where they share what people can do to help animals, and another one called Esthers Kitchen, “a hangout for those who want to learn more about how to prepare healthy Esther Approved meals at home.”

What lies ahead for Esther and her family? Thanks to the incredible outpouring of support from Esther fans, Esther’s dads were able raise over $440,000 to purchase a farm which will become an animal sanctuary come November 2014 if all goes according to plan. How cool is that?! Here are Esther’s dads saying thank you to sanctuary donators:

So back to the question at hand, “Can one pig change people’s love for bacon?”

I’d say she already has.

Here are some ways YOU can join Esthers journey:

Photo Credit: EsthertheWonderPig


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Elizabeth Z.
Elizabeth Z3 years ago

I love Esther's posts on cute! :)

Virginia Abreu de Paula

Great! I am following her now on facebook. Go Esther! I love you.

Darryll Green
Darryll Green3 years ago

pork fat rules

Henriette Matthijssen
Henriette M3 years ago

All lives matter as our own is treasured! Just because you can eat another living being, does not mean you should, just like we can kill any one does not mean we should! In the end we account to our creator for all our words/actions we did in one's life! The good & the wrong. Living a compassionate life style is only right! We all want Peace on earth, but we continue the cruel evil ways, we must be the change we want to see in this world. Animals have a right to live their lives as intented by God,, they are not a thing or product, but a living being as we are! Respect all lives!

Pat P.
Pat P3 years ago

I can guarantee that many people, if they really got to know a pig and bonded with it like a dog, could never consider killing and eating them anymore than they could a dog. If they walked through factory farms or saw how the majority of these sweet, intelligent, funny animals were tortured, would be appalled and never consider eating them anymore.
IMO, this would be true for all farm animals. They all could be potential pets, given the knowledge, and accommodations and willingness to really get to know them.
Yet, if you are determined to eat them, no matter what, then they will never have a chance, which is so very sad.

I wish more people were open to new experiences and had the compassion that Steve and Derek have. The world would be a much less selfish and more humane one.

GRAHAM P. Is it really necessary for you to be so narrow-minded, presumptive and offensive? These men had no idea that pigs were so wonderful or that they would fall in love with her. They, certainly, had no intention of changing their eating habits or of opening a sanctuary! Their love and empathy determined that!

Carol Johnson
Carol Johnson3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Janelle Kennedy
Janelle Kennedy3 years ago

Great article

Stella Gambardella
Stella G3 years ago

L'articolo ci propone una bella storia, edificante. Come costruire un santuario per gli animali, mi auguro che il tutto vada in porto e la felicità continui a regnare su queste persone e tutti i loro animali.

Sarah Ellissa Markey
Sarah Markey3 years ago

I am sharing this story on twitter. Love to you Esther and your lovely friends