I was extremely fortunate today. I went to visit Hearts on Noses mini pig sanctuary in Mission, British Columbia. I had a wonderful time. Although I don't think I can encapsulate the entire trip eloquently in words, I took lots of pictures, so hopefully they will give you an idea. I highly suggest that you contact Janice Gillett, the owner of the sanctuary, and go visit if you are interested.
Hearts on Noses is a sanctuary specifically for pigs that were formerly pets. There are a few larger pigs (commonly referred to as "hogs", although they are just large pigs, the word "hog" is really a bit negative as Janice explained to me today, which I do agree with), but overall, they are mostly potbellied pigs that were bought as pets. The sanctuary is located on 2.5 acres, with large pens for the pigs to run around in, and depending on the pigs and their dispositions, sometimes multiple pigs will be living in a pen together. One pen had an entire family of about eight, but only because they got along well together. These are hugs pens, so don't worry, the family of eight did not seem cramped in at all - although I'm sure they would rather be running around!
link for just a few reasons why they should not be eaten by dogs, quite aside from the reasons relating to killing animals) that are sold at pet stores. I mentioned this to either Janice or her sister, who was also at the sanctuary this morning, and she told me that she had seen a package of pigs' snouts (don't click on that link if you aren't prepared to see what they look like - some people are more sensitive than others, think twice before you click) at the pet store. I had never seen a pig's snout in action before this morning, but you would be amazed at how much they can move around, how sensitive and fantastic they are.
For those of you that live in the Lower Mainland, here is my Eco-nomical Living tip for the day: go and check out Hearts on Noses and other farm and animal sanctuaries in the area. It is free to go and have a tour, it is heartwarming, and it is time very well spent. Hearts on Noses, because it doesn't have any dogs and cats, has a harder time than many sanctuaries in raising the funds it requires to continue operating. People look at dogs as pets and pigs as food. Janice does not preach or even mention anything about the eating of animals, there are no questions asked about your preferences in this regard. It is just a great place to visit, and a worthwhile organization to support, if you are so inclined. No matter what is on your plate, no animals deserve to be abused and neglected because someone bought them as a pet and later decided they didn't care enough to take proper care of them.