Steve Jenkins, co-author of “Esther The Wonder Pig: Changing The World One Heart At A Time”

Esther&Steve

Steve Jenkins—co-author, with Derek Walter and Caprice Crane, of “Esther The Wonder Pig: Changing The World One Heart At A Time”—discusses how Esther entered his and Walter’s world: He got duped into adopting her when she was a baby, having been told she was a micro-pig. This “micro-pig” grew to 650 pounds. b4be5c_0c997929ede540759ed4bebf6fc6d819.jpg_srz_367_552_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzJenkins recalls some of the initial challenges of raising Esther, as detailed in the book—due out May 31, but available for pre-order—very much including housetraining her, a very different enterprise, it turns out, than housetraining a dog. And much more difficult. Especially when you start using treats to train a certain pig to do her business outside, and that ultra-smart pig games the process to score more treats. Jenkins also seeks to explain why Esther has ignited such a passionate response on social media–her Facebook page has more estherintubthan 700,000 followers, and the multiple posts there each day typically generate a few thousand likes: While there are some very tangible elements of the narrative—Jenkins and Walter created the page simply as a means to communicate with friends and family about Esther (it was illegal for her to live 13254401_986866908087200_5839500416254256036_nin their house), the page quickly engendered interest outside of their circle, some of the initial supporters were members of the animal rights community, etc.—he acknowledges that this represents a phenomenon that defies a full explanation. Jenkins recounts how life with Esther prompted he and Walter to make significant changes in diet and lifestyle, first giving up bacon, then all pork, then ultimately going vegan. He also notes that their posts on the Esther 13240778_993225604117997_5467211789803112719_nFacebook page reflecting these changes—and others’ posts who’d embraced similar changes—touched off some contentious threads, whereby some non-vegans were critical of those changes, and some vegans were critical that the mentioned changes weren’t more wholesale; and how they resolved that conflict, including forgoing the word “vegan” in favor of “Esther approved.” Jenkins briefly touches on the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where he, Walter and Esther now live, along with 40 animals…and concludes the interview by putting Esther on the phone! (www.estherthewonderpig.com, www.facebook.com/estherthewonderpig/?fref=nf www.happilyeveresther.ca)

COMEDY CORNER: Joe Zimmerman’s “Pet Snakes” (part two) (www.zimmermancomedy.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

 NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Hit Crew’s version of “Mr. Ed’s Theme (A Horse Is A Horse)” R.I.P. Alan Young (Wilbur)

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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