Reflection: Aesthetic Expressions of Non-Human Animals
Little Orphan Hammies
By Mary Zdybel (04/25/10 23:29:49)
Related animal: Pot-Bellied Pig

I was super excited to take our class trip to the Little Orphan Hammies Pig Sanctuary; not only was it my first field trip in my four years of college, but I was interested to go back to my days on living on a ranch and pet some pigs! However the pig sanctuary was not exactly what I had expected. I suppose I should have done my research on pot-bellied pigs and that it was my own fault when I was taken aback to find these massive beasts awaiting me. There were a few things that disconcerted me. Firstly, I expected there to be a lot more mud. I have always been under the impression that pigs loves to play in the mud and that this made them happy (someone even mentioned mud castles?) But the ground seemed to be mostly dry and like clay, not ideal for rubbing one's snout on. Second, many of these pigs seemed like they were so sad, with large open wounds and tears in their eyes. I appreciated that these pigs were very old and many of them crippled, but this 'sanctuary' seemed more reminiscent of a pig retirement home to me. Just as I view retirement homes as horrible but necessary, I know that these pigs are better off where they are now than suffering more somewhere else. Maybe if there were less pigs requiring the attention of one woman they would be able to live a happier life. I kind of saw this overcrowded pig farm as a microcosm for the population problem we are experiencing as humans; there are just too many of us and it is causing a problem.

On a lighter note, I promised myself I would make friends with a pig during our trip, so I tried to do just that. I attempted different ways of approaching the pigs, trying to talk to them in different piggy-dialects. They didn't seem to much appreciate my pig talk, nor did they think it was fun when i surprised them from behind. There was a lot of squealing involved, on both of our parts. I especially loved the giant black and white spotted pig that was apparently named Oreo, but I had rightfully dubbed "Cow Pig" I wanted to put a saddle on its back and get an authentic piggy-back ride! Another Hammy that really struck my interest was a flirtatious blondie with a shoe fetish named Dennis. He really loved to rub and nibble on your shoes, or tickle you by tasting your pants. It was very interesting to me because I didn't think such a large animal could have such a tender and loving touch.

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