Don't All Mothers Deserve a Happy Mother's Day?
I was outside with all three pigs today and Charlotte was getting a little hot from the sun and started rooting in a place that wasn't ideal (we share our yard with everyone else in our condo complex). So, I went to move her to a place where it would be okay and picked her up in a way that she isn't used to being carried. Instantly she started belting out her scared cry. Usually this is reserved for terrifying things like little bunnies jumping on her while she's sleeping. But, today she was just not ready to be picked up and I didn't have her in the usual hold that makes her feel secure. But, this isn't the interesting part. What happened next is what both impressed me and made me realize yet again that pig families are very closely bonded.
As Charlotte let out her cry, instantly, Millie and Pumpkin abandoned their grass munching and charged towards the sound. Little Millie was making the deepest grunts she could. I imagine she was yelling, "Let go of my sister or you shall feel my wrath!" She may be small, but she sounded like a 300 pound pig charging to the defense of her sister. And Pumpkin did the same. They looked like pig warriors charging to battle. Both immediately checked Charlotte out with their snouts as I put her back down. Satisfied that all was well, they went back to eating grass. But, it was clear that as much as they love food, they cared more about making sure their family was safe.
Far too often humans assume that we are the only species that has such strong family bonds. We believe that somehow we alone evolved this ability to form such close relationship with others. But, I'm daily shown how far from true this is. Both in the relationship I have with our pigs and the relationship our pigs have with each other. And this is just another reminded that this Mother's Day, we ought to think of the mother animals out there on farms who have their beloved family members and children taken from them over and over again. And we also should think about the mother animals separated from their young so that their children can be sold off to humans as pets (please adopt, don't shop!). And hopefully someday soon, we will stop treating animals like objects and all mothers will enjoy a truly happy Mother's Day.