Monday, January 23, 2012
On a quiet and cold morning...
I've been thinking for a few weeks how I might post about the experience of being familiar with these pigs, and then seeing them killed and butchered, with me doing some of the work. Would the shooting upset me? How much blood would there be? What would be more difficult - the deaths or the evisceration?
For all of my years, I've chosen my pork under the gleaming fluorescent lights of a grocery store, where it is very abstracted from the animal. True, some roasts retain the appearance of some body part, but generally, even in high-end stores, it's hard to connect the meat on display in those cases with the animal that was raised somewhere else and made it to your table after being handled by so many people. Raising a pig with David and friends was a clarifying experience.
We woke them, and they went out into the field to relieve themselves. Then it was their time.
It was quick work. First, the killing shot - smooth, except for the first one, and a quick correction was made. The rest went down instantly.
After the death, there is the bleeding. I wondered to myself why there didn't seem to be much blood, and then remembered there's only a gallon or so in a human, and logically, probably not much more in a pig. It was bloody, but not the gore fest you see in a bull fight or horror flick. It was quickly over also; I think everyone there shared my respect of these animals, wanting the quickest and most painless death for them.
I've included here the early video, shot back in August, of the arrival of the pigs on the farm. They were only 35 pounds or so back then, but would grow to at least ten times that by last Friday. I'll follow this post with a few more about the butchering experience.