Once I had gathered my bearings, the first thing that hit me was the smell. It was unbearable, still not too unfamiliar to my conditions before awakening in this place but even then I never became accustomed to the smell. The smell of urine and feces mixed with the scent of blood and rotting flesh. To accept these types of conditions is to lose all sense of compassion and humanity, which is ironic seeing that I am a pig. That’s right, Sus scrofa domesticus at your service and when I say service I don’t mean your breakfast. You can go ahead and get that idea out of your head right now, detestable I say! Detestable! Now where was I.....Oh yes that’s right!
Once I overcame the scent I noticed that I couldn’t move. I was stuck in a cell with four other pigs, all of them grunting and snorting in contest at the situation. I then noticed something that made me forget all about where I was and where I had been, something that seemed to speak to me in an almost hypnotizing manner. Tiny beams of light shot through holes in the holding cell, almost blinding as it hit the naked eye. I had never seen light of this nature before; forget the fellow gnawing at my back leg, what was this light?!
I pressed my snout against the holes as snug as I could, and took in a deep snort of air. I opened my eyes wide as a tear rolled down my face. This scent, it smelled unfamiliar but so clean and fresh. I put my left eye up against one of the holes; we were moving and moving fast. I could see plants of all kinds; they were green, beautiful, and foreign to me. There were so many bright colors I had never seen before. The world I witnessed in that moment looked nothing like the prison I grew up in. I mean, I had heard stories from some of the insects that passed through but I just assumed they spoke madness.
It was in that moment that I remembered another story I had once heard from a horse fly. I remember the horse fly taunting one of the other pigs that had lost his mind, telling him that the only way he was leaving was on a “slaughterhouse bound truck." We were on a truck. If they were right about this outside world then that means they could be right about these “houses of slaughter." I knew that I had to escape from this moving prison, but how? I couldn’t even move, and the others in my cell seemed to still be in shock from our current and sudden change of situation. Stuck in a cell with four others of my kind being transported to my death, I did not like this idea.
For all I knew the others may have no longer even been sane. I had seen many lose their minds due to boredom alone back in the other prison. I had to do something quick, but what?
“Listen up, listen up!” I shouted.
I could hardly hear myself over the other pigs. I tried yelling a bit more but it was of no use. There was nothing else left to do then bite down, so that’s what I did. I bit down as hard as I could on the rear of the pig in my front.
“YOUCH!!!” the pig in front of me screamed.
“What’s the deal?! Have you lost your mind!?” she asked, seemingly annoyed.
I got her to look out of the hole, and before long we had the attention of the others. They all seemed pretty excited until I told them what I had heard from the horse fly.
“We have to get find a way out of here!?”
“We have to escape!”
“I’m too young to die!”
I was right back where I started, unable to hear myself think. They were freaking out pretty badly.
“SILENCE!!! I have a plan,” finally I had their attention again. I had decided that if we used our momentum as a group we could possible rock ourselves off of the truck. Left to right and back and forth we went, over and over again. It did not seem to be doing much good. We kept at it for hours, we were determined, it was either this or just giving up. Now I don’t about you but the thought of digesting in some biped’s stomach wasn’t quite agreeing with me.
“It’s no use…” said one of the pigs. I could tell he was exhausted; I couldn’t really blame him at this point. One by one the others slowly gave up as well. I remember saying, “at least we tried…”
Just then something happened completely unexpected! We went flying. I’m not sure how, perhaps the truck hit a bump in the road or something. All I knew was we were flying through the sky, and if you were expecting a “when pigs fly” joke next, you are reading the wrong story. Our liberating flight experience lasted only a second and then we crashed down onto the road. Pieces of metal were flying everywhere as the crate shattered around us.
We could move! I was able to run around and jump, the others were doing so as well. Startled by a loud noise I looked up to see even more human traveling machines coming our way! Running for my life, I managed to dodge them all and make it to some grass over by the side. Everyone was there, we were safe! I could hardly believe it!
It was then that we were captured once again, bringing us to our current situation. What did you say this place was called again?
“This here’s a shelter, boy!” the old dog said as he coughed.
“So we are going to be safe now? No one is going to try and eat us?”
“I reckon so… I reckon so…” the old dog said wandering off.
I guess he had somewhere to go. All I know is that we are safe and we are exhausted. I think I’ll lay down with the others and join them for some rest, finally some rest.
This fictional account is based on a true story about pigs found on I-40 in Durham, North Carolina. The pigs are now at the Durham Animal Shelter, where the shelter claims they will most likely end up as pets. Sadly there is no guarantee of what will really happen to these pigs. That choice is up to you.
By taking meat out of your diet not only are you helping to stop the senseless slaughter of our above heroes, but of many other animals whose stories are never told. If you live in Durham and it’s not too late, please help find these pigs a good home, one where they won’t eventually be put to death.