There's a good reason to celebrate the Year of the Pig. Pigs are among the most intelligent animals and are known for their long memories and sophisticated communication skills. They're playful, sensitive beings who, like humans, love and cherish their families. We know because we have seven rescued pigs at PACK Sanctuary and over 100 rescued and living in peace at our new affiliate's farm sanctuary in Linkou.
But many pigs born over this Lunar New Year won't live long enough to see the next one. Instead, on farms around the world, they'll be taken away from their mothers just days after their birth to enter a short and grueling life on a factory pork farm just to fill our bellies with that salty meat. Naturally pigs can live for more than a decade, but after as little as five months spent inside a dark, crowded warehouse, many will face a terrifying journey to the slaughterhouse, where they will be violently killed and dismembered, all so that their flesh can become someone's pork.
Imagine for a moment the absolute terror of being torn away from your family, mutilated, and imprisoned for months in a filthy, windowless shed with others like you. Millions of smart, sensitive pigs endure this abuse each year. Whether such misery takes place on a farm in Asia or the U.S., the pain and fear experienced by these animals is the same.
Please make this year a good one for pigs by considering to lower your pork intake. There are so many mock meats and pork alternatives now that taste greta and provide even better nutritional value. We love pigs at PACK. That's why we don't eat them.
The journey of a rescued or abandoned dog shouldn’t end at the shelter. Most dogs are only at their happiest with the security and affection of humans they trust. But many never feel that happiness, being passed over because they are older or big or mixed breed, because of anxieties developed as a stray, or simply because they are not used to people and lack the social skills to charm themselves into a new family. 毛孩在遭到棄養、獲得救援後，收容所不該成為他們生命的終點。多數狗狗只要身處他們信任的人類身邊，得到安全感和愛，便能感到無比幸福。但有許多狗狗終其一生不知幸福是什麼—他們不是太老、體型太大、非純種，就是因流浪太久導致焦慮傾向，亦或是單純不適應人類生活，缺乏社交能力，難以融入新家庭... 種種原因讓他們無法成為領養首選。
Bruce Shu and his rescue dog Ziggy
This is where fosters make a difference and save lives – by helping dogs to transform mentally and physically to get ready for permanent homes and by advocating for their adoption. Fostering has its challenges. Rescued dogs range from the nearly perfect (rarely) to the severely behaviorally challenged, to put it diplomatically. They take patience and time, but any sacrifice is repaid tenfold in seeing their transformation and growing confidence and sense of security.
And like sending a child off to university, every time a dog goes to a new home you get a lump in your throat but immense pride in your heart. For a long time, before I started fostering, I donated to animal welfare charities and volunteered at events and at shelters. I even adopted one of the shelter dogs. All that help was welcome, of course, but I was really leaving the hard work, the real work, to others. Fostering was a way to take personal responsibility, because dog and cat welfare starts with each dog or cat, after all.