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By Judy Woods
As I sit and write this I gaze out the window and see Libby the pig in the pasture. Her nose is deep in the earth in search of a tender root. She walks off snacking on bites of sweet clover and having a care free day. From the moment she wakes up she is off deciding how her day will be spent. On hot days she is either close to the pond or in the early morning she makes the long walk through the meadow to the cool and lush woods to spend the day.
If you came here and met Libby you might notice how calm and gentle she is; you might gaze into her eyes and see the look of a special friend. You might find that particular spot behind her eyes she loves to have scratched and then you might see her smile.
Libby is a huge farm pig. When I first met Libby she was inside of a pig factory farm where she had no name only a number stamped on the metal tag in her ear. She was a breeding sow. Her purpose in the factory was to produce piglets to be turned into more breeding sows if they were healthy girls or else pork products if they were boys. She lived on cement floors. She lived crowded by the metal bars surrounding her body. She could stand or lie down but, she could never walk around. She didn't have sweet earth, didn't have grass, and didn't have a soft bed of hay. She was fed a limited amount once a day and the rest of her day was spent doing nothing. She was a pork producer, nothing more. Libby was the oldest pig in the building which meant she had been a good breeder and producer. When her time was up the reward she got for her dedicated service was to be ground up as sausage.
Today her previous life is only a faded memory. She has more important things to think about such as finding the first of the ripened blackberries at the edge of the field or being in the barn when visitors come with treats. Maybe they will bring her favorite treat, apples!
I am grateful everyday to have the opportunity to help Libby and her friends. I wish they all could know life at a sanctuary where pigs are loved for being pigs. Come spend the day here, feed treats, give a pig a belly scratch, or just wander the fields and sit in the tall grass watching the animals. The land vibrates with love. There is no other place like Pigs Peace Sanctuary. It's a little corner of heaven on earth for many animals.
Shortly after I wrote this article, Libby died. I honor of Libby's life at the sanctuary I felt it must be written. When Libby was dying and very weak she chose one of her favorite spots as her last resting place: under the sign 'Pigs are friends not food.'
I thought it was rather poignant that Libby, who was born and raised in a factory farm and who personally birthed hundreds of piglets for pork consumption chose this spot. I am very saddened by her passing and yet I know the gift we gave her as well as all the rescue animals that come to us: the gift of a life of love, friendship and peace.
Thank you dear friends from the depths of my soul for helping the sanctuary and helping the animals who live here. It is with your love and support the animals who once lived in fear, loneliness and despair now live lives full of peace and friendship. Thank you for being a huge part of our commitment to compassion. We can't do it without you. We love you!
Judy Woods is the founder of Pigs Peace Sanctuary. Find more about other sanctuaries.
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