Vancouver-based beer company Parallel 49 launched a fundraiser to support Esther the Wonder Pig thanks to comedian and actor Ricky Gervais.
The company says it will donate a portion of the proceeds of its Ruby Tears beer to the famous pig. According to Barnivore, a resource for vegan alcohol, Parallel 49 beer is free from animal products, except for a few varieties. Ruby Tear is vegan.
Last month, a fan tweeted Gervais to ask him what his favorite beer is. Gervais responded by professing his love for the Parallel 49’s “Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale”—now called Ruby Tears.
“I remember thinking ‘Gypsies Tears’ in Vancouver was the best I’d ever tasted,” the comedian tweeted.
The beer company temporarily re-renamed Ruby Tears to “Ricky’s Tears” on its taproom menu board. Parallel 49 then announced on social media it would launch a fundraiser to support an animal welfare organization of Gervais’ choosing.
“We would like to donate 25 cents per pint of Ruby Tears and $1 from the sale of each six-pack province-wide to an animal charity of his choosing,” Parallel 49 said on Instagram and Twitter, tagging Gervais.
Gervais responded by nominating the Happily Esther After Farm Sanctuary in Ontario, Canada. Esther the Wonder Pig is the sanctuary’s most famous resident as well as the reason for its creation.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) February 28, 2020
About Esther the Wonder Pig
In 2012, Canadian couple Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter adopted Esther, a rescued “mini-pig.” Mini-pigs, or teacup pigs, do not actually exist, and Esther ended up growing to weigh more than 650 pounds.
Esther has since become a social media sensation, amassing nearly 600,000 followers on Instagram. To help care for Esther and other rescued farm animals, Jenkins and Walter founded Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary in 2014. It is now home to pigs, cows, birds, and other farm animals of all ages.
Gervais for the Animals
Gervais, an outspoken animal rights activist and vegetarian, first visited Esther at her home in 2015. The comedian has spoken out against horse racing, animal testing, adopting pets, foie gras, and fur fashion.
“[A]nimal cruelty is wrong,” Gervais wrote on Twitter in April 2018. “‘But, it’s a tradition’, doesn’t make it right, ‘It’s part of my religion’ doesn’t make it right, ‘It’s my livelihood’ doesn’t make it right, and ‘people are more important’ doesn’t make it right either. You know why? Because it’s just wrong.”
Parallel 49 hasn’t revealed when its fundraiser will end.