Monday, 11 October 2010

How I hate this part

The pigs are loaded up in the trailer ready to go.
They followed the little trail of apples up the ramp with almost no fuss at all, which always makes me feel such a heel. Sometimes I wish deep down inside that they would do a Tamworth Two and make a bid for freedom.

My neighbour offered to take them to the abattoir for me with his pigs, but I always feel it is incumbent upon me to go with them on their last journey. I am sure it makes no difference to them whatsoever, but it feels like my last duty to these animals that have given me so much pleasure for the last few months.

All I have to do now is fill in the movement licence paperwork and write down my instructions about how I want them to come back.

I eat meat and have no guilt about that, and I know that my two porkers have had a good life - longer and much more natural than the vast percentage of the pigs raised in the UK and elsewhere. They have had the sun on their backs, a large patch of ground to excavate, a wide and varied diet and the ability to run up and down to their hearts' content. They had a good scratch behind the ears whenever I walked past.

They are also a pair of intact boars, and conditions here aren't suitable for overwintering pigs - I simply couldn't keep them even if I wanted to do so.

But I still feel like a total cad this morning.


  1. i grew up on a cattle ranch in Texas. i remember my mother naming the cows and my father saying, "don't do that. don't get attached." still i know she secretly had names for the cows in her head. i did. i simply had to ignore what would happen to them when they were herded onto the trailer and driven away. farming and raising animals keeps you very close to life's cycles. it is a peaceful life most of the time, but then there are those melancholy moments. i wish you peace.

  2. utmost respect for you because I'm not sure I could do it ... but I happily buy meat. I think everyone that does buy meat needs to have a taste of what you've just gone through ... because that is the reality.

    Focus on the fact that they have had happy lives. As you said, most don't.

    In fact you've just reminded me to get in touch with my local organic farm to buy stuff again, instead of the supermarket's stuff - I think it's cruel how they treat animals.

    Did R used to take them to the abattoir, did you go together, or did you used to do it? Being alone sucks so much, when you have to do stuff like this. Big hugs xx

  3. @WnS: Yes you are so right about raising animals keeping you in tune with the cycle of life. It doesn't always help, but mostly it does bring a feeling of peace.
    And there are only two animals here with names - one is Moose and the other is the first sheep to be born on the property, both of whom I hope will be with me for many years to come.

    @Boo: The animals have always been mainly my thing. R normally came with me to the abattoir, though, mainly as moral support (and to reverse the trailer!). So far I have always been able to find someone to go with me, which has helped a lot.