The joy of one-on-one time with a pig

 
 Author Sy Montgomery and Christopher Hogwood, a pig on his way to becoming 750 pounds, and her inspiration for her best-selling book,  The Good Good Pig .

Author Sy Montgomery and Christopher Hogwood, a pig on his way to becoming 750 pounds, and her inspiration for her best-selling book, The Good Good Pig.

 
 

Over the course of publishing Sprig the Rescue Pig, Sy Montgomery has become a friend of ours. The naturalist and author of several highly acclaimed books about animals, including The Good Good Pig, agreed to review the pig factoids we run at the back of the book. (Did you know pigs are smart enough to play video games?) She has blurbed our book. ("May Sprig help people see what wonderful individuals pigs truly are.") We have bonded. And so when Leslie Crawford, author of Sprig, and I were talking yet again about how to inspire compassion for farm animals I asked Sy for help. "Of course," she told me. 


"IF YOU SPEND ANY TIME AT ALL, one-on-one, in the company of a pig, you will soon learn what smart, sensitive and emotional creatures they are. And their smarts, senses and emotions closely match our own.

 How Christopher Hogwood first won Sy Montgomery's heart.

How Christopher Hogwood first won Sy Montgomery's heart.

A pig loves comfort and will often go to quite creative lengths to create the most comfy resting spot possible. In the winter, our Christopher Hogwood would spend ten minutes gathering straw in his mouth and piling it until it was just right in his pen to create a springy bed with a pillow.

In the summer, he'd use his wondrous, flexible nose disk to dig in the cool earth an exactly pig-sized indentation to lie down in. It was a work of art.

Pigs love the same things we do.

Delicious food, and they don't just Hoover everything up. They have their favorites. Our pig's was chocolate donuts, especially if he could share them with children. They love a good spot to nap. A nice stroll. They love the company of favorite friends and the touch of loving hands. For 14 years, our Christopher shared with me the true meaning of comfort and joy. 

Of course he was special, as every individual is in his or her own way. But all pigs everywhere have the same capacity for joy. And who are we to deny them their precious lives for a fleeting taste on our tongues, when there are so many other delicious things to eat (like chocolate donuts!) that don't demand we kill someone?" 

– Sy Montgomery


Clare Ellis is the Publisher at Stone Pier Press. She currently lives in San Francisco.