Ok, so everyone knows that I am an animal lover. That is no secret. I have often been asked if I am such an animal lover why arent I a vegetarian. Well the answer is that I believe in the circle of life. I am against abuse and any form of cruelty to animals. I dont have a problem with eating meat or animals being hunted for food. Yesterday I had the most amazing day. I volunteered for Make a Difference Day at Pig Tales pig sanctuary not far from my house.
This is a sanctuary that started years ago by a paralyzed woman with a heart of gold. She IS a vegetarian and had gotten a couple of pigs as pets many years ago. Before you knew it people were asking her to take their pet pigs that they could no longer care for, for one reason or another. She vowed to protect these animals from the slaughterhouse and many years later, from her wheel chair, she runs Pig Tales. She has pot bellied pigs among many others including offspring of wild pigs that ventured over to her sanctuary. Because the first pigs were brought to her as pets she will not slaughter or give these pigs away to be slaughtered. She is a vegetarian and does not believe in killing animals even for food. She will however give them to you as pets.
I was told that she was going through some financial hardship since she spends her whole disability check on these pigs and the 20 acre sanctuary. There are hundreds of pigs there from 3 weeks old and up. I have to admit when I got there yesterday, me as well as the others who were there with me, were very overwhelmed by what we saw. By the end of the day I could not wait to go back. We walked through the sanctuary with what seemed like over 400 pigs. They were all friendly and some, like WILD HOG who was dropped off by a man who had found him as a baby on a job site, raised him but could no longer care for him, were just absolute sweeties.
I have actually been thinking about getting a pig myself to feed my scraps to. I hate waste and have been researching caring for a pig and the amount of food that they would eat. Rob seems ok with it but I promised not to make any rash decisions.
Since visiting on Saturday I have so many ideas running through my head. Lory's goal is to clean up the sanctuary entrance so that she can eventually reach out to the public and allow schools and other groups to visit. Me and some people from work are planning to go back out in a couple of weeks and do a cleanup for them. We are going to be discarding misc trash that they have accumulated from people thinking they could sell things for cash. I have also been in touch with a friend who scraps. I am hoping he will come out and pick up some of the larger items. I am also working on getting a deal on a dumpster and possibly some concrete wash for their drive way.
My next thought is to try to start up a "SCRAP DAY" where once a week (Sat. mornings maybe) the public is invited to come by with their collected scraps for the week and feed the pigs. This would be a huge help to Lory to off set the cost of some of the feed she is buying but would also encourage people to look for other options rather than discarding their food scraps. I have also thought about helping them build some type of collection containers where donations could be dropped off at their front gate. Maybe one for dry items like bags of feed, wood etc.. and another like a 55 gallon drum where people could deposit their scraps and it could be emptied daily and fed to the pigs.
It is easy to walk in to the sanctuary and think... I have to do something... I have to save these pigs. But unfortunatly in life we cant save every one or every thing. Because of this I know when I look at these animals and at Lory, I have think reasonably and decide what I can truly do to help her. The truth is we cant save all those pigs. Some will die from old age, sickness or survival of the fittest. This is the cycle of life. But the problem is as long as they continue to reproduce she will never be able to care for those pigs properly. With that being said my last idea (so far) is to sponsor some type of fundraiser to go towards the cost of spaying the females. I am sure a reduced price could be arranged with a vet and we could continue to work towards spaying more and more to eventually reduce the number of new additions to her herd. I say spay the females only because it makes the most sense financially to fix one sex or the other only. My suggestion is the females because the wild pigs have been known to join the herds on their own by breaking into the fence so spaying the females would prevent them from reproducing regardless.
I plan to continue volunteering my time to Lory and her amazing Pig Sanctuary. I met her mom and sister and some of her friends this weekend and they are amazing people too. They care for Lory and it shows. I hope eventually we can help Lory fix up her house too. Because she spends her disability check on the pigs and the sanctuary there is not much left for her.
I am also looking into composting pig manure. I have read that it is great for potato crops and lord knows we have a lot of those out here. Many of the area farms bring her their left overs to feed to the pigs. She may be able to give back to them and test out her knew pig manure compost to see if it will be beneficial to other farmers as well.
If you are interested in donating items for the sanctuary please let me know. They are in need of items to build shelters mostly. Wood, fence panels or wire fencing, nails, blankets, car toppers, kennels, and things of that sort. They are also greatly in need of feed. A large bag of feed can be purchased around $8-10. She uses 24 bags of feed per day. That is why my main focus is on reducing the # of pigs and helping her find other means of food for the pigs. She also needs hay. Lastly, but not least, she needs help. If you are ever interested in volunteering your time please let me know. She needs help building shelters and right now for trash clean up. Eventually we would like to put up a sign for her so if you have any artistic talents please let me know. Also if you have ideas... I am all ears.
Hope all is well! Thanks for reading.