The Magic of Esther the Wonder Pig
Esther the Wonder Pig caught my attention back in December of 2013 when I first saw people sharing photos on Facebook of this beautiful pig living in a house with dogs and cats. When I liked her I saw she already had 6,000 likes and I remember thinking that was incredible. Within days of liking her page I was hooked and head over heels in love with Esther. I told my partner Deb (yes we share the same first name) about Esther just after her page hit 10,000 likes. At that time her Dads – Steve and Derek released an amazing video telling the story of how Esther came into their lives. I knew when I saw the video that they were the real deal, kind, loving and compassionate. I knew Deb had watched the video too when she came to me with a face full of tears. She said she had to have Esther’s Dads on her podcast and would reach out to them to see if they were interested in an interview.
As the days and weeks went on I saw something amazing happen. Esther’s Facebook page grew and grew and instead of 200 likes on a posted picture it was suddenly 2,000 likes – then 3,000 and these days more like 5,000 likes. Although I am generally not a comment reader, I started reading the comments people were leaving under Esther’s pictures and more often than not I would be left in tears. So many people were saying the same beautiful thing – so many people where telling Esther that they were going vegan because of her.
Empowering others to go vegan has been my mission for a long time, and I have certainly grown and evolved over time with my approach. I started the way a lot of activists start. I went from eating animals without thinking about the implications to vegan virtually overnight. I was jarred out of my unconsciousness by an innocent enough documentary called Baraka that left me asking a lot of tough questions about where my “food” came from. Once I found the answers I was angry at myself, at the system that kept me asleep and mostly at the people who had not woken up yet. It was like someone put smelling salts under my nose and I woke up like an angry (and sad) bear.
Not only was I angry and disgusted, I wanted everyone to change immediately and could not understand how sharing (preaching) what I knew to them did not create an instant shift. I got involved in angry protests and pushing tough to see videos on my friends and family. It did not take me long to realize that I was not only burning myself out, I was burning up my precious relationships with others as well.
When I came to my senses or shall I say back to my heart I saw that people wanted to be empowered, not taken into the shadows. They wanted solutions and they wanted to know how to eat better while protecting the planet and the animals we all share it with. Most of all they wanted the kind of kindness that comes when judgement disappears.
Kindness has always been easy for me (thank you Mom and Dad) and when I began to share it 3 years ago professionally through my cooking classes, talks, workshops and programs I saw how much more effective it was at opening the hearts and minds of those already on the path to eating from love.
When Esther the Wonder Pig hit the scene that eating from love path widened by a country mile. Through the beautiful loving home Steve and Derek have created with Esther we can all see who they are and it invites us to see ourselves. What I believe Esther’s story does for us is show us who we can be.
Angry activism does not work well because it invites us examine our dark, shameful side, the dark side of the collective consciousness that keeps horrible practices like factory farming alive. What Steve and Derek have done is invite us to the light, to the love that is inside all of us, the love that is so inviting and appealing. When we move toward the light they’ve created and we discover our own.
I had the chance to see inside Esther’s world first had when my amazing partner did a Skype interview with Steve and Derek for her Unplug Podcast. As the interview time approached I found myself sweating – yes sweating in anticipation. I was not even invited to be involved in the interview but just knowing Esther and her people were going to be on Skype in our house was to much for me. I did manage to sneak in and meet Steve and Derek – two incredible human beings who were beaming when they described life with Esther. At one point they turned the laptop so we could see sweet Esther taking snacks and then nesting down in her bed. What a joy.
As I write this Esther’s Facebook page is creeping up to 60,000 likes, the family has been featured in local and international newspapers, on several radio shows, on TV news stations and my partner’s Unplug Podcast (click the image above to hear all about Esther and her Dads) and her star is just starting to rise. It is so clear that we (the world) are ready for Esther and all she has to teach us. She is the joy we seek, the innocence we wish to preserve and the sweet face of connectedness we all crave.