Originally Posted by 80s_Lover
I definitely considered that but I just don't know what else to do. I of course don't want to create a demand for pigs that are sent to slaughter but if I don't buy her than SHE will. Oh I wish everyone could see this little girl (okay, BIG little girl)...precious precious precious. I also can't comprehend why her owner is so okay with this. I saw her and Ivy together and she seemed very loving and affectionate towards her, but then when I asked her questions she was very down to business talking about how long she'll feed a family...how can people be SO DISCONNECTED from what they're doing?
Children recruited into 4H/FFA are indoctrinated with the philosophy, aims and policies of the organizations. They enter into a quasi-"contract" with the program to raise a project animal and present it for judging and auction at an affiliated event. Backing out of the "contract" subjects them to being: bullied by organization affiliates, ostracized by their peers, and alienated from the social context the organization provides. It takes a very brave child to find enough compassion to stand up to that degree of pressure.
Disconnection from the emotional relationship they MUST form with their project animal in order to handle it daily and in the show ring (particularly in the handling of pigs) is a foundation and something they're constantly reminded of during the project duration.
I would like this child to know that Ivy may not survive her trip to wherever she is going. Pig transport trailers are triple-decker semis with animals packed in tighter than they are in the factory pens. Ivy didn't grow up learning how to fight for her life and she probably won't learn fast enough on the truck. And if Ivy is purchased by a breeder as a replacement gilt (unlikely, she's probably not one of the 4-5 pure strain Frankenpigs being whipped up daily in the "pork science" genetic labs), her transistion to intensive confinement in the gestation and farrowing stalls won't be an easy one. Psychosis + dystocia = stillborns, which means Ivy won't make it much past her first farrowing at less than a year old. But I digress...
Whatever you decided to do, my thoughts and prayers are with you. And Ivy and this little girl. And if you do try to talk with her again, always remember to reinforce what empathy she obviously already has for Ivy. Never refer to her as "the pig, your pig," always say Ivy's name, and keep the girl talking about her antics, her favorite foods, her life and the future they COULD have together.