The Book Corner:
Happily Ever Esther: Two Men, Their Wonder Pig, and Their Life-Changing Mission to Give Animals a Home
by Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter
Many of us can’t remember a time when we didn’t love animals. But getting to know them and respect them for who they are is a lifelong process. For two young men this emotional journey enabled them to establish an animal sanctuary in Canada, far from their city home.
It all started with Esther, a little pig who grew bigger and bigger and bigger. In the process of finding her a comfortable home Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter began to understand that there wasn’t really much difference between a pig and their dogs in terms of cognition, love, and dependence on humans for quality care.
Once they founded Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, they began to understand farm animals and how similar to companion animals they are. Rescuing an increasing number of needy creatures and learning with each one, they taught themselves at the same time their sanctuary educated others.
An easy, tender, and fun read, Happily Ever Esther is a heartwarming book about fascinating animals as well as interesting people. But it is also an enlightening story about humane education on a different level – learning to live with others who don’t feel the way you do, gradually making them understand why and changing their mindset, sometimes one animal and one person at a time.
We can all have a voice for animal welfare. When we doubt we are effective and think ordinary people cannot make a difference, this touching and inspiring tale reminds us that each of us matters for animals and their future.
New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol.XL, Fall 2022.