Today is slaughter day at our fledgling farm–pig slaughter day. And so I am in town at a coffee shop as I write this. Because I hate pig slaughter day. I mean, I was a vegetarian for 24 years! Raising pigs for food is a huge about face for me. And don’t judge me too harshly for staying away and leaving Bob to deal with it alone. Last time I was the one there alone when the mobile slaughter unit showed up.
Raising meat for food is not something we take lightly. It’s not that I get attached to the pigs, that they have names, because I don’t and they don’t. (OK, I do get a little attached. Pigs are just such characters! How can you not get attached??) But we strive to take really good care of these animals, with plenty of fresh air and room to roam and fresh water and healthy food. Unlike the shrink-wrapped pork people buy at the supermarket, our pork comes from pigs that have lived a very good life.
And that’s why we do this, raise pigs and slaughter them. People are going to eat pork. Period. Isn’t it better for all–humans and pigs alike–if people eat pork raised in a humane and natural way? Digging in the dirt and playing chase and stuffing their noses into pumpkins and sleeping in literal pig piles?
As just two people, Bob and I can’t do anything to stop factory farming and the American obsession with cheap food that leads to the inhumane treatment of animals. But we can do one tiny little thing when we raise a few pigs and people buy our humanely raised meat instead of the cheap stuff. And slaughter day is a necessary part of that process…which gives me a little comfort.
But I still hate slaughter day.