By Melissa Li, MD, VO Board of Directors Vice-Chair
When did you succumb to the Esther the Wonder Pig effect? I’m just assuming that you have, because who hasn’t?
I succumbed long ago, when she first made various headlines—a commercial pig, originally thought to be a micro pig by her adopters, who grew and grew and grew, and kept growing to 650 pounds, much to their astonishment.
At first, it didn’t seem too far off from the usual rescue story, but when pictures appeared of Esther living in the house—sleeping on her dads’ bed and having her own piggy bed in the living room—there was something utterly charming about her. The Facebook posts were singularly hilarious, captioned with wry quotes, which would catch me off guard and make me laugh out loud.
I followed her story, but more importantly, followed her dads’ story—how they evolved from hapless, accidental commercial pig adopters to genuinely concerned activists who want the world to know that there are millions of pigs like Esther. Pigs, that if given the chance to live, would show you they are as endearing and wonderful as her.
Somehow, Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter have found the elusive mixture of warmth, humor, and compassion that is just right—hence, their hundreds of thousands of followers from around the world, and the continued outpouring of love and accolades.
When I heard there was going to be a book coming out, I couldn’t wait, despite having known much of the original beginnings. I cannot describe it—it’s like one of those magical fairy tales that you never tire of, one you don’t mind hearing night after night.
I read the book—Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time—in a few hours, and the only disappointment I had was that it ended too soon. I wanted more. I hope they come out with a sequel, better yet a series, or maybe a movie, or how about a reality TV show? She and her family are that addictive and interesting!
You may or may not already know all the details of Esther’s story, but reading through Steve’s and Derek’s perspective, you’ll find little gems and tidbits that weren’t always in the published articles. How difficult was it to potty train Esther? What struggles did they go through with the decision to keep Esther?
I could read about Esther and go through tons of pictures of Esther as a little piglet for hours on end. This book tells a great story, and I hope there’ll be more to come. There’s joy and humor on every page. You feel as though you’re there in that cramped little kitchen, making room for Esther’s 650 pounds and laughing at her antics. You can’t wait to hear more, no matter how minor the detail.
And that’s the Esther effect for you! Experience it for yourself by ordering the book here.