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.
We cannot have a positive reaction to Esther’s story or any animal story for that matter, and go on using them for reasons that are purely frivolous – pleasure and convenience. We do not need to use animals to thrive, or look great or eat delicious things. Please give this some thought. It is the relationship with Esther herself that opened up the eyes of her “two dads” to go vegan. And like them, we all can go vegan. http://www.howdoigovegan.com