We pet owners are very passionate people. No matter what kind of pet we take to and love, we are passionate about them. With me it’s my pigs. I’ve loved them since I was a wee little gal back on the farm. Always nursing the runts and carrying them around. I used to even dress them up in doll clothes and push them around in my baby doll carriage. We had lots of different types of animals and I helped with all of them, but there was just something special about pigs. I grew up and left the farm, but the pigs never left my heart. Then the miniature pig came on the scene and I was in love all over again.
Even so much so that I got involved with rescue and placement through a local club and I was in heaven once more being able to find homes for the pigs I loved so much and which had become such a big part of my life. I didn’t plan it; it just happened. Today, I have four house pigs and would have more, but zoning only allows us to have four. I do occasionally socialize babies for a sanctuary that is not too far away.
One thing I have seen over the last five years of working with pet pigs and in rescues, is there are some mighty passionate people in the pig community. Tempers can flare real easy and then people are off and running and choosing up sides. Most of this transpires on the Internet on different pig lists. But the reality is that when tempers flare and sides are drawn, the pet pig suffers (as I’m sure other animals do also). I’m just more familiar with pet pigs and the pig community.
But one observation that I have made over the last few years is that people who really love pigs will keep the pig’s welfare first and put their own egos on the back burner. But, of course, not all do. Some have egos too big and can’t see that it is harming the pig. I know one lady, whose name I won’t mention, who is extremely passionate about pigs and is quick to tell me when I do something wrong. This gal can lash out at me and I find myself cringing and pulling back. I have to wonder sometimes if she ever stops to think that I already know when I have made a big “boo-boo.” But no matter how mad at me she may get or be, when I am notified of a pig close to her that needs help, and I post it either to her or to a list she is on, she is very quick to let me know she will work on it and find the pig a home and, if not, she, herself will take the pig. I stand in awe and really appreciate this lady. Yet there are others that draw the line in the sand and refuse to work to save a pet pig if someone they dislike is working on it or posting it. This shouts volumes of ego. It shows that a person thinks more of themselves than the animals they profess to love.
There are even sanctuary owners and rescue groups that let egos get in the way. Rather than to really put the pet pig first and the welfare of the pet pig, they will not work with people they have conflict with or dislike or who won’t agree with their politics. Again their ego has gotten in the way and the pet pig suffers at their hands. But rather than acknowledge it is their ego and their fault, they will push the blame over on “so-and-so” and find excuses for their own egotistical behavior.
The plight of the miniature pet pig, or for that matter any animal, will never be eradicated until these people can lay aside personal egos and think about what is best for the animal involved. Will this ever happen? It would if we lived in a idealistic world, but in fact we live in a real world. So the plight of our miniature pet pig will continue and we in rescues will never be out of a job and good sanctuaries will always be needed.
But the next time you rescue or place or take in a rescue pig, stop for a moment and think: “Am I doing what is best for the pig?” I hope the answer will be yes. For myself, I can only say that my love of the pig grows stronger every day and I hope I never have to live without a pig in the house.