Tomorrow we will transform Pig from pig to pork.
Last November, we learned many valuable lessons about how to humanely kill our beloved pigs. More than anything else they taught us through this process, they taught us that killing three pigs in one day is two pigs too many.
At the time, we only had three pigs. Throughout all the planning and preparation, we never considered the simple fact of how strongly their absence would be felt. We could never have prepared ourselves emotionally for the quiet that followed their leaving. Going from snorts and snores and grunts to peaceful silence in mere minutes was tremendously unsettling and we knew that, in the future, we must part with our pigs one by one.
No matter how hard we may try not to become attached to the pigs, I think even the hardest heart would soften a bit with this daily view.
Pigs are just so darned friendly and personable, I can’t imagine remaining callous or unattached after spending so much time with them. I didn’t, however, allow myself to fall in love with this crew the way I did with our first gang of misfits. I was so totally head-over-heels in love with Hammy, it took days for me come to terms with his absence. It’s not that that was bad, it just wasn’t good farming.
This time around, I feel more confident. I know what to expect when tomorrow comes and I know for certain that the day will be decidedly easier with only one pig to process. I am comforted by the knowledge that at the end of the day there will still be the grunting and snorting and snoring of the three remaining pigs. I am proud of the life we have given Pig and that his death will be quick, without stress, and without fear.
I’ve explained to friends, acquaintances, and even my own children that if we are going to eat meat, we should be willing to see the process through every step of the way. While it may always be sad to say goodbye to a part of our little farm, this is part of why we are doing what we are doing the way we are doing it.
We have done right by this pig and we will continue to do right by all the creatures who come to live, for however long, on applewood farm.