Miracles of Interspecies Adoption: The Pig and His Lamb

When animals adopt other animals of a different species, like Edgar Alan Pig and his lamb, Arnie, it's called interspecies adoption.

  • Filled with adorable photos of these baby animals and their foster moms and dads, "One Big Happy Family" by Lisa Rogak celebrates the intimacy and emotional connections of parenthood and the amazing miracle of interspecies adoption.
    Cover courtesy Thomas Dunne Books
  • Edgar Alan Pig, who wasn't new to interspecies adoption, had a particularly special relationship with a one-week-old lamb named Arnie, who he instantly took under his wing when Arnie first showed up at Edgar’s Mission.
    Photo by Alex Coppel/Newspix/Rex/Rex USA

Celebrating the amazing miracle of interspecies adoption, One Big Happy Family: Heartwarming Stories of Animal Caring for One Another (Thomas Dunne Books, 2013) highlights over 50 stories of animals that have reached out to save the lives of babies from other species and raised them as their own. From a bulldog and her baby squirrels to a cat and her ducklings, One Big Happy Family, by Lisa Rogak, contains the cutest and most surprising matriarch mixes. The following excerpt is from the section “The Pig and His Lamb.”

Buy this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS bookstore: One Big Happy Family.

The Pig and His Lamb

Edgar Alan Pig is the namesake of Edgar’s Mission Farm Sancutary, a sixty-acre animal sanctuary in Victoria, Australia, with a unique specialty: Founder Pam Ahern concentrates on rescuing animals that would otherwise be headed for a dinner plate.

It all started with Edgar, a pig that Ahern bought from a piggery when actor James Cromwell — who played the farmer in the movie Babe — came to Victoria in 2003 and wanted to have a picture of himself taken with a pig to help alert people to the plight of farm animals, particularly pigs in factory farms. Ahern found a pig at a local farm, Cromwell posed with the pig, and Ahern planned the next day to find a sanctuary where Edgar — already named — could live out his natural life.

But when the next morning came, Ahern could no more send Edgar off to a sanctuary than she could send him back to the farm. And so she decided to start a rescue of her own devoted to taking in farm animals.

Since then Edgar helped foster and serve as a surrogate father to a variety of different animals countless times in the seven years since he first arrived into Ahern’s life. Plus, he became famous throughout Australia serving as a four-legged ambassador to draw attention to the issue; after all, it was the first time for many Australians that they had witnessed a pig walk on a leash, as Ahern gently led the pig out in public.



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