A tale of two pigs (or three, actually) - Macleans.ca

A tale of two pigs (or three, actually)


What I love about my job is the variety of people, and sometimes animals, I get to meet and photograph. For Rebecca Eckler’s story on domesticated pigs, I photographed two families with two different circumstances. Julie Chen and her family have ‘Henry’, a micro-mini pig who, along with their dog Betty, is considered a pet. Young Henry moves fast, so half the time I was running flat out to keep up with him. (And the thing with animals of this size is you have to get down to their perspective, otherwise you’re always shooting their backs.) Susan Morris runs ‘Snooters’ an animal sanctuary an hour outside of Toronto. Morris has a number of rescued pigs that roam both her hobby farm and her house. The pigs from Snooters are older and it was difficult getting them to do anything other than lie on the floor and sleep, which I can understand because in human years these two would be positively geriatric.

Henry is a micro mini pig who lives with Jill Chen and her family in Toronto.

Jill Chen offers Henry a treat.

Kevin Hewitt gets an earful from Henry while daughter Georgia looks on.

Henry is a frequent guest in Georgia's dollhouse.

Henry is not allowed on the kitchen table.

Henry was litter trained by the breeder, but Chen taught him to use the walk-in shower in the master bathroom. "With my dog, we go for a walk. With Henry, he relieves himself in the shower."

Henry is fed several times a day.

Henry negotiates the steps outside the house.

The family gathers around their pet pig.

Belle is 6-year-old pot-bellied pig who lives with Susan Morris and her family at 'Snooters' an animal sanctuary in Zephyr, Ontario.

Belle is surrounded by pigs, both real and decorative.

Belle was born after Susan Morris bought its mother at an auction.

Allie is a 13-year-old rescued pig.

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A tale of two pigs (or three, actually)

  1. Henry is such a cutie!!!  I am surprised that the Chen family can still eat pork!!!

  2. omgggggggggggg i know their family !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and yet i saw the henry on the way when i was walking to school and hi !

  3. Thank you Snooters, from the bottom of my heart, for taking in so many unwanted and neglected farm animals.  I just wish people would provide you with the same amount of money that they gave to the breeders to buy them in the first place.
    All my love to you and the piggies.

  4. The number of abandoned and homeless pigs will only increase with this article.  People only see the cute little pig, a novelty, and don’t think of the commitment of having a pig as a companion for 15-20yrs.  They don’t think of the pig as a living, breathing, feeling, sentient being that has needs of their own.  Sanctuaries, like Snooter’s run on a shoestring trying to care for the discarded pigs that people grow tired of or become distructive because their human caretakers don’t know how to meet the pig’s needs.  Please people, support the sanctuaries, not the breeders.

  5. Henry is a real cutie but strangely I find the 2 older gals at the sanctuary to be most beautiful ! Support sanctuaries, not breeders!

  6. I adopted a micro mini pig from someone who purchased it for $500 and sent to Wisconsin from Florida. Well a micro mini pig advirtised to top out at 30 pounds is now 55 pounds and not even a year old, gets 2 cups of pot belly pig food a day and is not fat at all. Has started to wreck the Kennel he sleeps in that was purchased for my past Rottwieller.  People need to stop telling people of these micro mini pigs or sue them for false advirtising.  Peanut will be going to a Hobbie farm this spring because of the false advirtising and misconception of his adult size, i will not have room for a 80 to 100 pound pig by the time he is 1 years old.