The Secret Life of Pigs
Stories of Compassion and the Animal Save Movement
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An engaging and enlightening book about pigs and the special humans that rescue, care and advocate for them.
From factory farms to sanctuaries, pigs live rich and complex lives often hidden from us. In this two-part book, Marine veteran Richard Hoyle and renowned activist Anita Krajnc give us an in-depth look into their experience caring for pigs—and its cost.
From his sanctuary in Tennessee, Hoyle describes the many challenges and lessons that come with caring for pigs for thirty-six years. It all began with one pig named Patti Murphy, which Rich purchased with trepidation to please his loving wife, Laura. Then, in a plot twist that Rich, a professional firefighter and paramedic, calls one of the most bizarre in his life, he fell in love with that sweet little freethinking pig. When the eighties’ mini-pig fad ended in the tragic abandonment of thousands of these pigs, the Hoyle’s created a sanctuary to rescue as many as they could, and The Pig Preserve was borne.
Rich takes the reader on a journey about the unique way these pigs changed his life with transformative love and care. Each pig’s personality shines through the page. The second part of this book presents the reality of a pig’s life under the control of humans. Anita Krajnc describes her own experiences with pigs—the dark and violent world of factory farming. Mutilation, abuse, and sickness are part of their daily lives, long before they ever see the inside of a slaughterhouse. Arrested in 2015 for offering water to pigs inside of a commercial trailer, Krajnc speaks out against the treatment of these caring and intelligent creatures. Krajnc contrasts life on The Pig Preserve with ways in which we humans exploit and abuse these sensitive, intelligent mammals, so like us that Biologists refer to them as “horizontal humans.” She describes how the global Animal Save Movement, which she co-founded, bears witness to this tragedy, while also raising awareness of the environmental and health benefits of switching to plant-based foods.
“This is not a book that talks only about the life of pigs in a sanctuary, it is a book that immerses us in a world where the ordinary becomes magical. A book of interspecies relationships, of funny anecdotes and some sad ones too, of transformations, of reencounter, of empathy, of courage, of overcoming obstacles, of rethinking everything we have learned, that which is so hard for us to banish from our kingdoms. A fundamental book to begin to build another humanity, a fairer one for all beings that inhabit this planet.”
—Malena Blanco, writer, animal rights activist and co-founder of Voicot
“This eye-opening book gives readers an in-depth look at the tireless work of those who dedicate their lives to our kindred animals. Richard Hoyle and Anita Krajnc send a clear and passionate message that every act of caring, whether through creating sanctuary, bearing witness, or participating in positive activism, raises the possibility for humans to truly envision a more peaceful world. Anita’s retelling of her trial and the tragic killing of Regan Russell remind us that activists who bring the plight of animals to our attention often do so at great sacrifice and peril. This is an inspiring and impactful book.”
—Dr. Joanne Kong, editor of Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers
“This book is a powerful testament to the majestic nature of animal sentience. Our relationship with these creatures is a reflection of who we are as people. These stories elicit emotion, compassion and give us the inspiration to be better people. The vegan message is a powerful tonic for our troubled times and our collective efforts for animal liberation is a vital key to the future of humanity and all life on earth.”
—Robbie Lockie, co-founder and director of Plant Based News
“What a brilliant book! Two amazing storytellers, each in their own style, showing how animals bring out the best of us—and how we can become better advocates for them. You will laugh, cry, think, and not let go until you reach the last page!”
—Dr. Camila Perussello, author of Food for Thought: Planetary Healing Begins on Our Plate
“This is a riveting account of humans seeing pigs for who they really are: highly intelligent, social, emotional beings with the capacity to love, fear, and even forgive humans. It’s also the fascinating tale of Anita Krajnc, who said ‘enough’ to society’s systematic torture of pigs and got arrested and prosecuted for it, sparking a global movement.”
—Jane Velez-Mitchell, founder of UnchainedTV