A Call to Compassion from our Brothers the Animals

“Oh God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth in common with us. … May we realize that they love the sweetness of life even as we…”- Basil of Caesarea

Before Stella was Stella, she was a nameless “production unit” at a factory farm, and her time was almost up. A breeding sow valued only for birthing pigs for slaughter, Stella had reached an age where her utility to the industrial meat system had peaked. She was likely on her way to a slaughterhouse when an accident—perhaps a crash involving the truck transporting her—released her into the Florida suburbs instead. A man watering his lawn was shocked when Stella, emaciated and covered in wounds, staggered into his driveway and collapsed.

“Stella’s wonderful,” says Elaine West, the president of Rooterville, a Melrose, Fla., sanctuary for rescued animals, where Stella now lives. “If you’re out[side], she’s going to be there with you, checking out what you’re doing and rubbing up on you and wanting to get her back scratched…You call her name and she comes running.”West and her husband, Dale, have named most of the 110 pigs who have been rescued from abuse or neglect to live peacefully on Rooterville’s 20 acres. Unlike Stella, whose ear tags and docked tail (cut oἀ at its tender base to prevent other distressed pigs from chewing it) identify her as a fac-tory farm pig, most of the pigs at Rooterville are pot-bellied pigs purchased as house pets and then abandoned when they grew too large or had too many litters. Shelters, rather than saving the pigs, often give them away to be slaughtered or killed as training bait for hunting dogs.

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