Esther the Wonder Pig- Farm Sanctuary

Esther changed our lives from the minute she came home as a "mini pig" almost two years ago. 533lbs later, it turns out she was just getting started.
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Steve Jenkins
Identity Verified
Email Verified
Animals
Georgetown, Ontario
Canada
3 Team Members

    A complete copy of our official "business plan" is available on our website at www.estherthewonderpig.com

    

June 4 update

Wow, how our lives have continued to change in the last month.  Before the Indiegogo campaign started, I don’t think either one of us recognized that this would become the biggest undertaking of our lives and that so many people would be changed by our experience with Esther.  How have our lives changed?  First, we wake up every day anxious about achieving our goal of starting the Esther sanctuary, also, we are touched daily by the stories of people who are doing all they can to live an animal-compassionate life, and most incredibly, our relationship as a couple is even stronger than ever because we are working together for a common purpose with the same goal – to demonstrate to others how much farm animals can contribute to our lives by living with us instead of feeding us. 

We thought it would be nice to share a couple of stories that have come to us in the past week, just to let you know how much we appreciate hearing how Esther is changing people’s lives.  If you have a story to share, please go to Esther’s facebook page or website.  We LOVE hearing from you all. 

The Esther Effect

" The classroom banner my class made for their end of the year Peace Building assembly. Esther has been a part of the conversations. She is making such a different all over. My students made vegan pig treats for a local farm sanctuary. We love our piggies. All because of Esther. Chicago loves you!!!! "


Here's a recent video of Esther playing tag with Derek - how could you resist playtime on a sunny day with a beautiful pink pig? 



And now back to our regular programming ....

My name is Steve and this is the story about how a completely unplanned addition to our family became a 530lb gentle giant that changed our lives forever. Unwilling to give her up, we decided to alter the course of our lives; sending us down a path we never could have imagined.  Little did we know this little piggy had a power unlike anything we had ever experienced.  We call it "the Esther effect." 


What are WE doing?  Because of the impact Esther made on us, we have decided to completey change the course of our lives dedicating ourselves to sharing our story, and improving the lives of farmed animals.  We have an accepted offer on a farm, and your contribution will help us bring Esther's sanctuary to life.  You will help us secure the property and make the required improvements we need to start saving the lives of the countless animals that desperately need us.  You'll help us build a place you can visit and interact with these amazing animals in a breathtaking environment.  This won't be your average barnyard either.  Your contribution will help us create an environment where we can show pigs living in clean barns with slip resistant hard floors and blankets for bedding.  They'll have a space more like a "living room" than a barn so we can demonstrate their intelligence and abilities to be toilet trained.  It will be unlike any sanctuary you've seen before  with a huge community garden and free cooking classes to show you how to use your harvest in simple but delicious ways.  The whole space will be designed to break down barriers and level the playing field between our companion animals, and those we see as products. It's a huge task but if anyone can do it, we can.  We've spent the last two years learning from Esther and applying these training techniques to our new pigs will help make this all possible.  We've done it with Esther, and we'll do it again but we cannot do it without you. The sanctuary used to be a dream but it is so much more than that now.  It has become our mission and we will move heaven and earth to make it happen. We are working towards establishing our organization's charitable status with the help of our lawyer whose information is available upon request; and our accountant, Paul Latour CGA at (289) 924-0770.  

Are we crazy? How did we end up here? Two years ago we were just an average couple:  Derek, a professional magician, and me, a world-class bagpiper/real estate agent, living the dream together for 14 years in a small town just outside of Toronto - your typical love story right?  We hung out with friends, drank, and entertained by our backyard koi pond almost constantly, but that all changed one Friday night when a message came through on Facebook from an old school friend of mine.  "I have a mini pig that needs a home" she said.  Always a lover of animals, without hesitation I expressed interest and said I'd get back to her.  Shortly thereafter a second message came along. "Someone else is interested, I need to know now." The pressure was on and being a huge animal lover, and a sucker, I took the bait.  Within 12 hours of that very first message a 3lb pig was ours, and all this happened before Derek knew anything about it.  Little did we know this tiny pig would change the course of our lives forever.  The adventure of a lifetime had begun, and we didn't even know it.

After a few weeks of settling in we began to see the most incredible things from our new family member who was now known  as "Esther".  We had already fallen madly in love with this amazingly affectionate, curious and all around hilarious little pig when we made our first vet appointment.  This was the day things began to get really interesting.  The vet immediately brought our attention to Esther's short little tail.  It had been cropped, an apparent sign she was no mini pig, but rather a full size commercial pig.  We were horrified but again, madly in love.  We looked at our options and more importantly, Esther's options but just couldn't bring ourselves to give her up.  At the same time, we had the realization that this incredible animal we so quickly came to love was meant to be someone's dinner.  We no longer had the ability to detach ourselves from what we were eating, and this caused the first of many significant life changing decisions.  We went vegan.  We couldn't handle the thought of the life Esther was born for, and it has become our mission to provide a home for as many of her relatives as we possibly can; and to educate as many people as we possibly can that these animals are loving, intelligent, and sensitive animals.  Not just a product or a piece of pork.

Esther is almost two years old now and living in our little 1000sq/ft house with the two of us, our two dogs, and our two cats. She is completely house trained asking us to go outside, and letting us know when she wants back in.  She has a bed in the living room where she sleeps at night, and big bin of toys that she plays with constantly.  She even sits for her treats and climbs in and out of the bath when its time for a scrub down......even at her current weight of approximately 530lbs+.  We have learned so much from Esther that we decided to start a Facebook page for her to show our family and friends.  That page quickly exploded to over 140,000 likes in only 5 months, along with thousands of additional fans on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.  Esther is now changing the lives of her fans the same way she changed ours.  By opening peoples minds and showing a side of these incredible animals we never knew existed.  The impact she is making has inspired us to completely change the course of our lives. We are in the process of registering a charity so we can open a farm sanctuary for her, and other food industry animals.  We want to provide them with the paradise they deserve, and show their amazing personalities to the world via our social media and online platforms.
What can YOU do to help? The purchase price of the farm is $905,000 and it's located in Campbellville Ontario, about 45 minutes from Toronto.  We have been given 60 days by the sellers of the property to raise the required funds we need to make this project work. We need to raise $400,000cdn of which the majority will go to paying down the farm, bringing the mortgage to a feasible level for us to maintain along with the substantial costs of operating the farm itself.  We have been working more hours than we can count to save money of our own, and to keep up with the demands of Esther's new-found popularity that was so unexpectedly added to our schedules.  We're now at a point where we need to make a decision and direct our focus.  We want nothing more than to be able to dedicate our lives to this, so having a sustainable mortgage payment is crucial.  We simply cannot maintain the work schedule needed to cover the higher mortgage, along with the added expense and time of running the farm itself. The rest of the money will go towards the required improvements we need to make before we can start bringing more animals in, and allowing us to welcome guests, such as renovating the pig barn, clearing and repairing pathways and guest toilets, repairing and replacing fences.  The list is endless but one step at a time we will turn this property into a shining example for Sanctuaries everywhere.

What will We do for you?  As a sign of thanks for your invaluable help, we are offering some amazing ways to put your stamp on Esther's sanctuary:  from your name on our "Founders Club" welcome plaque to naming our animals and the buildings where they live.  This sanctuary will be a paradise built by all of us with engraved bricks on the visitor's center patio, or nameplates on a bench or picnic table.  We want everyone to know this was a team effort.  We'll offer exclusive tours before we open to the public, we'll plant an orchard with a tree marked and mapped so you can visit anytime you want then pick your very own apple to feed our animal friends.  Want to hear more of our story? We have a non fiction book in progress with one of the worlds largest publishers,  and you'll be among the first to get a copy when it hits the shelves.  We'll even sign it, and so will Esther!  What about the chance to see us run a 5km race for the cause of your choice...in our underwear! Even something many thought was impossible, convince us to get married after 14 years together.  We'll fly you and a quest out to the sanctuary from anywhere in the world, and you will officiate our wedding and witness our signatures on the marriage certificate.  What better way to celebrate the opening of our sanctuary, and lifelong commitment to Esther and her friends who need us?

Be it $1 or $100,000, every penny gets us closer to our goal but it's not just money, we need to spread the word far and wide. Come check us out at www.estherthewonderpig.com or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  We'll also needs all hands on deck when we take possession of the farm.  Can you swing a hammer, dig a hole, or know your way around a tractor? We need you too.  Stay tuned, or get in touch with us via our website if you want to lend a hand.  We're taking on the challenge of a lifetime, and we can't do it without you.  Change starts with education and an open mind.



Find This Campaign On
$440,245CAD
raised by 7,462 people in 2 months
110% funded
0 time left
$400,000 CAD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 30, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5CAD
    What did you say?

    Get an exclusive "Esther sounds" ringtone. She makes some pretty hilarious noises!!! We'll let you hear what a day with Esther sounds like.

    580 claimed
  • $25CAD
    Send us a note!

    Get perks #1 and #2 plus, we'll put your name on our founders page at www.estherthewonderpig.com. You'll also get to send a message from you and your family to be posted beside your name.

    876 out of 5000 claimed
  • $50CAD
    You make me want to shout!

    Get perks #1 and #2 plus a shout out to you on our thank you video posted on Esther's facebook page and website.

    123 claimed
  • $100CAD
    I'd like to thank the academy

    Get perks #1 and #2 plus a personalized digital photo of Esther thanking you for your support, suitable for printing in any format you desire at your local printing emporium (we suggest printing on a pillowcase so you can sleep with our Esther, but a coffee mug would be nice too).

    59 claimed
  • $100CAD
    Step on it Esther!

    Perks #1 #2 and #3 plus......... A beautiful full colour photo postcard signed by Steve, Derek and, of course, Esther.

    78 claimed
  • $250CAD
    Make your Mark.

    Perks #1 #2 and #3 plus......... Your name engraved on a plaque of "Sanctuary Founders" displayed prominently on the property - a constant reminder for all of our guests that we built this paradise together.

    96 claimed
  • $500CAD
    Be a fruit cake.

    Perks 1-4 plus..... You're invited to attend our tree planting ceremonies on earth day 2015 when we will plant a fruit tree in Esther's orchard in your honor. You'll also receive a sanctuary map with indicated location of your very own tree.

    11 out of 250 claimed
  • $500CAD
    Get dirty.

    Perks 1-4 plus....A world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit and; an exclusive invitation to attend a "founders club" work day before we open to the general public. You'll get to meet Esther, tour the sanctuary, and spend the day with Steve and Derek before we open to the general public.

    62 out of 100 claimed
  • $500CAD
    Let's Facetime

    You'll get perks #1 through #4 plus a private Skype/Facetime call from Derek, Steve and Esther.

    5 out of 25 claimed
  • $500CAD
    I want a piece.

    Perks #1 #2 and #3 plus..... An exclusive photo, signed by Esther herself with a piece of her favorite blanket, beautifully mounted and numbered. This item is only available to our Indiegogo supporters in a very limited quantity.

    5 out of 50 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $1,000CAD
    Take a load off.

    Perks 1-4, a world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit and; a named bench or picnic table at our visitors centre. We'll engrave a metal plate with your name and a special message from you mounted to your choice of bench or picnic table.

    10 out of 10 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $1,000CAD
    Don't fence me in

    Name one of our 5 animal stalls on the farm (naming rights valid 1/1/2015 - 31/12/2019). We'll engrave a metal plate with your name and a special message from you mounted to the stall.

    5 out of 5 claimed
  • $2,500CAD
    Fowl play

    Perks 1-4, a world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit and; you'll get to personally name one of our rescued birds. You'll get a framed photo of your new friend and an open door invitation to visit us anytime!

    3 out of 10 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $2,500CAD
    Happily Ever After ....

    Name Esther's daytime snoozing spot on the farm (naming rights valid 1/1/2015 - 31/12/2019). We'll engrave a metal plate with your name and a special message from you mounted to the pig pen.

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • $4,000CAD
    Tea Time?

    Join us at home for a private brunch with Steve, Derek and Esther at their home in Georgetown (travel not included) We'll sip champagne and enjoy some spectacular "Esther approved" treats and snacks. A memorable morning for all of us.

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $5,000CAD
    Set me Free

    Perks 1-4, a world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit and; Join us for the arrival of Esther to her new sanctuary. This will be an incredibly emotional event for us, but we can't think of anyone we would rather share it with. Someone who brought the dream to life.

    3 out of 30 claimed
  • $6,000CAD
    What did you call me?

    Perks 1-4, a world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015. You'll also be able to select the name for one of our non pig, large animals and get a custom framed photo of your new four legged friend.

    1 out of 5 claimed
  • $6,000CAD
    Come dine with me

    Join Steve and Derek at their home for dinner prepared by an amazing "Esther approved" chef. Including cocktails and of course dessert.

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $7,500CAD
    I like hard wood

    Perks 1-4 plus....A world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; We will plant a stunning hardwood tree with engraved name plate in your honor. You'll get an invitation to our planting ceremony, and a map of the farm indicating the location of your tree.

    0 out of 20 claimed
  • $7,500CAD
    First in line.

    Perks 1-4, a world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; a pre Grand Opening tour so you can be among the very first people to meet our farm family, including Esther herself. Spend the day touring the farm, and enjoy lunch with Steve and Derek.

    0 out of 25 claimed
  • $10,000CAD
    Always wanted to be an author

    Perks 1-4 plus....A world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; we'll mention you in our 60,000 word, non fiction book about our lives and the transformation we went through as a result of living with Esther. You'll be one of the key players in bringing this dream to life, and be invited to our pre Grand Opening tour.

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $10,000CAD
    What did you call me?

    Perks 1-4 plus....A world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; you'll have the honor of naming our third rescue pig. We'll plant a fruit tree in the orchard with farm map indicating the location of your tree. We'll also send you a framed photo of your new piggy friend,

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • $15,000CAD
    That's what you picked?

    Perks 1-4 plus....A world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; you'll have the honor of naming our second rescue pig. We'll plant a fruit tree in the orchard with farm map indicating the location of your tree, and a framed photo of your new piggy friend.

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • $20,000CAD
    I always wanted a sister.

    Perks 1-4 plus....A world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; The honour of naming Esther's first piggy brother or sister. We'll plant a fruit tree in the orchard, and a hardwood tree with engraved nameplate in your honor. We'll include a farm map indicating the location of your tree, and a framed photo of your new piggy friend.

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $20,000CAD
    Garden of Esther

    Perks 1-4 plus....A world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; Naming rights for our spectacular community garden displayed on a special plaque made just for you.

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $30,000CAD
    Hope it's not too cold

    Perks 1-4 plus....A world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; Steve and Derek will run a 5km fundraising race for the cause of your choice in their Esther undies!!

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • $500,000CAD
    Big barn baby

    Perks 1-4, a world famous "Peace Love Esther" shirt/store credit, an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to attend our VIP Grand Opening Gala in Spring 2015 and; Name the large addition to the barn. We'll paint your name on the barn for everyone to see, forever more.

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • $1,000,000CAD
    Put a ring on it

    Perks 1-4 plus....We never thought we could be convinced but......If someone claims this perk, after 15 years we will finally take the plunge and get married!!! We will fly you and guest to Toronto, pick you up, provide all hotels and meals for three days including....Our wedding day. You'll officiate the ceremony, and witness the marriage license. We will also construct and name the visitor and welcome centre in your honour.

    0 out of 1 claimed
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