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This Woman Lives With 50 Pigs

It's like Babe: Pig In The City, but the opposite.

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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.

Brian Roberts / Caters News Agency

Lindy worked for years as a dog trainer and animal carer in Sydney, but eventually grew tired of people's attitudes toward animals in the suburb where she lived, so she chose animals over people.

"I just got sick of Sydney. I lived there for 38 years," Lindy told BuzzFeed News. "I loved the place, but it wasn’t my Sydney anymore. I just wanted to go somewhere that I could be more free and have my animals in peace."

Lindy packed her bags and moved to the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, before making her way to a farm near Mudgee in central western NSW. She now lives with 50 pigs, six sheep, a horse, several chooks, one dog and four cats.

But after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011, caring for her family of porkers has become harder and harder as she also tries to educate people about the welfare of the intelligent animals.

"They say it's terminal and I was supposed to be dead a while ago, but I'm not, I'm still going, and that's why I have these pigs in a way, they make me want to get out of bed in a morning," she told Caters News Agency.

"I focus all of my energy on the animals here so I don’t have to feel sorry for myself," she said. "My day is pretty much making up food, feeding them and hanging out with them. Kicking around in the garden. Farm life."

Lindy says she never intended to live with so many pigs, but over the years she's picked up a number of animals that were being mistreated so she's re-named her farm "Pigs'ville".

Brian Roberts / Caters News Agency

If Lindy hears of piglets being sold she'll often try and bring them to her farm where she cares for all her animals in a truly free-range style.

"I've seen horrific things, people feeding pigs roadkill, killing other pigs and throwing it all back in for the other pigs to eat," Lindy said.

"Before I got sick, I'd look for ads where people were selling piglets, I'd go and think I will buy one piglet and then come home with 12."

"I've seen pigs in yards with no shelter and no water in the middle of summer, they can die from the heat, they've got to have a wallow, they've got to have water. You know it's been a rescue thing for me, I have to help them."

All of the pigs she keeps have been given a name – from the piglets to 190kg giants like Alice and Gordon.

Brian Roberts / Caters News Agency

Lindy says there are some downsides to living in a rural place, like the occasional bout of loneliness, but she has no regrets about escaping the rat race.

"It’s beautiful out here. You can do what you want, with nobody interfering. I find that people interfere in so much of your life, and I don’t have that here," she said.

She says the pigs, which are extremely intelligent and personable, are all the company she needs.

"Winston Churchill had a saying, 'dogs look up to you, cats look down on you but pigs look you straight in the eye', And it’s very true."

Brian Roberts / Caters News Agency

Lindy's one message for people who don't want to give up urban life to live with 50 pigs is simple: eat free range.

"I’d like people to think about the meat they buy. Go free range if they can. Really support the free range industry, with chickens, pigs, everything," she said.

"My pigs now are showing the world they can be fun, loving, social and intelligent animals and are helping campaign hopefully [for] the welfare of pigs everywhere."