Bacon, ham, and other pig-derived products are ubiquitous in our society, but people seldom have the opportunity to get to know the living animals behind those products. Pigs are curious, playful, and highly intelligent by nature. They enjoy nothing more than playing around in the dirt, making friends with other animals, and thoroughly investigating whatever happens to grab their attention. While they are often labeled as “dirty” or “stupid,” this could not be further from the truth. Scientists have discovered that pigs are more cognitively sophisticated than dogs, primates, and three-year-old human children. The reason they like to cover themselves in mud is because it acts as a form of natural sunscreen, and helps them to keep cool. Their own skin contains no sweat glands.
Sadly, however, our modern-day factory farming system treats pigs and other animals as mere commodities, inflicts horrendous forms of abuse on them, and deprives them of everything that would normally give their lives a sense of enjoyment and meaning. Farmed animals who are trapped in these places very rarely manage to escape their inevitable fate. Luckily, a sweet pig named Jason was able to do just that after the illegal slaughterhouse in Loxahatchee, Fla., where he was being held, was raided.
In October 2015, he and 765 other animals – 400 of whom were pigs – were saved from the slaughterhouse following an undercover investigation by Richard Couto of Animal Recovery Mission (ARM). Couto worked undercover at the farm for several months, and said that he witnessed workers “boil(ing) pigs alive, drag(ging) a cow behind a truck, and slaughter(ing) horses for meat.” When police arrived, it was discovered that all of the pigs had incurable, contagious diseases … except for Jason.
Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control (PBCACC) helped care for the animals following the raid. Director Diane Sauve was shocked when the Department of Agriculture recommended that the disease-ridden pigs be sent to slaughter and used for human consumption, and refused to comply with this recommendation.”All of the animals had health issues and diseases. I was astounded to learn that you could still send diseased pigs to slaughter for human consumption,” she said. Sadly, the affected pigs’ illnesses were too advanced to respond to treatment, and they ultimately had to be euthanized. However, this was done in a peaceful manner, and their bodies were not sent to be used for human consumption.
Jason, however, is doing very well! He has been nicknamed “The Miracle Pig” by his loving rescuers.
Jason was emaciated and extremely anxious when he first arrived at PBCACC, but has gradually learned how to trust humans again. Sauve said, “He was named after one of his caregivers – Jason Cree. Both have red hair and are good-hearted. Jason loves human interaction, and although he is in solitary quarantine, he is delighted when his human friends visit.”
The fact that Jason has learned how to become friends with humans, after everything that our species put him through, is nothing short of miraculous. He has certainly earned that nickname!
After one final round of medical tests, the plucky pig will soon be sent to live at Rooterville Sanctuary in Melrose, Fla. This thirty-acre sanctuary aims to provide “rescue, care and a permanent home for hundreds of rescued farm animals of all types.” Here, Jason will be allowed to spend his days playing, foraging in the mud, and enjoying countless piggy delights that are, all too often, withheld from members of his species. Sauve said, “I don’t think there has ever been a good time in history to be a pig, but Jason lucked out. I really believe that angels walk among us. And in this case, it’s a plain, red pig named Jason.”
Enjoy your new life, beautiful boy!
All Image Source: Broward-Palm Beach – New Times