We Love You Burley!!

Burley is one of our oldest pigs, he came to us after someone met him at a fair, about to be auctioned off for slaughter, and fell in love with his bright, sweet piggy self.

Those notches cut into his ears were made on purpose, a tracking system to signify when he was born, what litter he came from, when he would die, and keep records of how profitable he was. They were cut without anesthesia when he was just a little newborn, as well as clipping his teeth, his tail and crude castration. No pain relief would have been given.

Although his first experiences with humans was mutilation, Burley forgave easily and has been one of the friendliest and most loving pigs we know. Not because he isn’t intelligent but because he is kind and forgiving. Pigs speak a language with over 30 different pig sounds, and learn to understand human words quickly. They both smile when happy, and cry tears when they are grieving or scared. They’re known to act with great empathy toward their own herd and other species, like the injured Canada goose they alerted us to who showed up in their pen this summer, and multiple chickens who’ve been dumped over the fence in past years. They are basically land dolphins.

But their intelligence is not why we shouldn’t hurt them. Their ability to feel pain and grief, just like any other species, and in contrast, their capacity for joy and interest in living happy lives should give us reason enough to consider them someone whose feelings we should care about for versus something we should use.

Burley knows the words “I love you.” You can see how his whole expression changes when he feels special.

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