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Esther the Wonder Pig wants you to be vegan

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Today, a friend posted a status update about how inexplicably happy reading the Esther the Wonder Pig story had made her when she read it in The Guardian. Of course it made her happy because very few of us are made unhappy about a story of someone finding love and sanctuary. I am delighted she expressed that feeling and that Esther’s story could elicit that sentiment. What I find disheartening is that on this perfect occasion and spoken to a vast, international audience, the author did not even think about mentioning veganism or using this opportunity to say “hey if Esther’s story speaks to you, then you really should go vegan because like Esther, all the animals we eat and use are just as deserving to live their lives. There is no difference between Esther and the billions of fish, cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits except that they have no given name.” Can you imagine the impact of that? On my friend? On your friends and family?

Instead, the author did tell us about how “Esther’s social media presence became [his] job.” Well, that is good for him, but why does that matter? How does that matter to Esther herself or to anyone like her? He also tells us how Esther “makes a lot of people smile and many really open up to her,” which is wonderful and speaks volumes about the responsibility the author has as someone who could reach a lot of people. In fact, the author indirectly admits this by letting us know that, “[a] woman in the US recently wrote, ‘Thank you for showing my two young boys that it’s OK to have two dads.’” Exactly! How wonderful! Look at what you and Esther can do by your very presence and existence, dear author.

Yet, no, “We’re not out to promote gay or animal rights in a direct way, Esther just seems to have this positive effect on people.” Why not? Why are they not directly speaking about the very things that they are? Why are they being so oblique about the very thing – justice, love and sanctuary – that defines them and everything in which they believe in? Why would anyone with access to a huge platform diminish, or relegate to an indirect space, the very essence of the thing that so deeply defines them? Why is it so anathema to advocate clearly for the right of all beings to be left alone and not slaughtered for our taste buds and vanity? It baffles this author’s mind and breaks her heart too.

Esther has a life because of her two dads. She might not have been the pig they were expecting, but her very existence demands that they – and we – become the advocates that she and all the animals like her want us to be.

Photo from Huffington Post

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0 Comments
  • Alistair RH

    Did you read the article with blinkers on?
    It says:
    “If you look a pig closely in the eyes, it’s startling; there’s something so inexplicably human. When you’re lying next to her and talking, you know she understands. It was emotional realising she was a commercial pig. The more we discovered about what her life could have been, it seemed crazy to us that we ate animals, so we stopped.”

    • Jangmi

      Why do vegans compare the animals they love so dearly to humans when in the next breath, they talk about hating humans so much?

      • KC Starr

        We don’t compare animals to humans. We say they have the same fundamental rights as humans. Even if some of despise humans for what they do to animals, we still accept they have fundamental rights.

    • KC Starr

      I’m copying and pasting it here because you clearly read Emilia’s articles with ‘blinkers on’: “the author did not even think about mentioning veganism or using this opportunity to say “hey if Esther’s story speaks to you, then you really should go vegan because like Esther, all the animals we eat and use are just as deserving to live their lives. There is no difference between Esther and the billions of fish, cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits except that they have no given name.”

      She specifically makes the point that veganism is not mentioned, no ‘call to action’ for veganism at all.

  • Jangmi

    A pig kills a child. Vegans side with the pig. An alligator kills a child, no vegan sides with the alligator.

    • KC Starr

      What on earth are you talking about?

  • Gary Francione

    Emilia wants to know why Steve Jenkins did not make a “call to action” for veganism in the Guardian story. The answer to that question is that Jenkins and Esther’s other Dad, Derek Walter, reject the idea that veganism is a moral imperative. In fact, they call the position that veganism is a moral imperative the “Nazi-vegan” position. Their view, in addition to affirming the idea that veganism is some optional matter, trivializes Nazism.

    Gary L. Francione
    Professor, Rutgers University

  • Myriam

    More people turned vegan thanks to reading stories about Esther/watching her videos, than by watching slaughterhouse videos.
    Why all the hate?

Veld donates money to farm animals and also serves them

Lest we be confused that their giant V logo stands for anything other than Veld.

Trading beef for beans is not a solution, veganism is

Please do substitute beef for beans, but also have tofu instead of turkey, carrots instead of chicken, and I think you see where I’m going.

Guys, extortion isn’t an effective form of vegan advocacy

Assuming we can extort people into respecting the lives of others makes no sense.