Meet Lindy Haynes. Fifteen years ago she decided she’d had enough of life in the hustle and bustle of Sydney, Australia, so she moved to a country town and shacked up with 50 pigs.
The 50-year-old former dog trainer rescued the pigs shortly after moving to the country from Sydney’s northern suburbs. Back then they were pint-sized piglets – now each weighs more than 350kg but that doesn’t stop Ms Haynes treating them as her beloved pets, snuggling up to them cheek-to-jowl for the kind of hug that became her therapy after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.
“If I didn’t have pigs to come home to, I wouldn’t have bothered fighting the cancer,” she said. “I have literally lived with pigs 24/7 for 11 years – they are my therapy, my reason for being happy to wake up every morning whether I’m sick or not.”
Peanut and Midget are now too large to get around Ms Haynes’ rural home, but many of the 24 other pigs in her care – many of which were rescued from neglect – have free range.
After spending so long getting to know her four-legged farm friends, Ms Haynes said it was heartbreaking seeing others kept in confined pens for food. She is campaigning for more farmers to raise pigs free range.