Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Pigs Are Gone.

Yesterday I drove the last two pigs to the butcher.

I was a little sad to say farewell. We will miss watching them play. We will miss seeing them all snuggled up together in the barn.

Not too sad. We enjoy eating pork. Especially healthy pastured pork. We enjoy knowing that the delicious breakfast sausage and pork chops and stew are on the table because we worked hard to raise that meat. It is a joy selling quality meat to our customers. Selling that meat helps make our farm self-sustaining, whatever that catch phrase means, anyway.

Back in the day when we purchased our pork loin on sale at Stop and Shop or Costco or Sam's I didn't have any thoughts about a living animal being attached to that meat. Now I do.

We try to not get terribly attached to our meat animals. We definitely don't cuddle them and name them cute names. We save that for the dairy animals we get to keep. Even so, we feed them, see them grow up and sometimes get a little attached anyway.

In a few days I will get a phone call from the processor(butcher). We will drive to pick up packages of beautiful healthy pork sausage, pork chops, bacon, roasts and fat for lard. We will happily eat this meat and sell the rest. As we do we will occasionally remember how much we enjoyed raising the pigs, how they frolicked in the fields, how good it is to be a part of the cycle of life. We will be grateful.

Next spring we will get some more piggies. Rose wishes we would keep them as pets. We won't. Sorry Rose (gotta get that sausage somewhere).


CountryDew said...

I think getting attached the animals is one of the hardest things about farm living, but it is also a very good life lesson.

Martha said...

I have gotten ridiculously attached to my small Sussex hen Gracie. She is the only one that lets me pick her up and carry her around. She is a leader and I think an unusually intelligent chicken. Tried to eat my finger the other day, rather than the slug I was trying to give her, but I don't hold it against her. Gracie will never go in the stewpot, not if she never lays another egg. I'm foolish, I know, but you find love where it lies (lays?)

Steve Bradley said...

Makes you really value life, doesn't it, when you see the sacrifice involved to sustain it? Perhaps this is what saying grace at meals is all about? Being thankful for the sacrifices that give us physical life, and eternal life?

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I feel like such a hypocrite because pork is my favorite meat and I could never raise pigs and eat them. I could never raise any animal and eat it. What's terrible about that is where I buy them from, the local Wal-Mart, means they were raised in factory farms and lived a terrible life, unlike your pigs. Honestly, I wish I could become a vegetarian. This is what I don't like about myself. If you were closer, I'd buy my meat from you.

gingerhillery@mac.com said...

Country Dew, you are so right about the life lessons!

Martha, we are the same about our layers. and dairy animals. We love them so much!

Steve, here here. I like the reminder about saying grace at table. Giving thanks...

Debi, we'll have to work out a deal sometime. I grew up with horses and greatly miss riding...Riding for pork sausage? Pork chops?
We all have to be hypocrites sometime.....Better to t hink about taking baby steps. Absolutely no condemnation!

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

That's right, you're from Texas originally, aren't you?

I have the perfect horse anyone can ride. Riding for pork. Is that anything like bowling for dollars? Can I get some of that nice homemade bread and butter too? lol