The deed is done. Our pigs have been slaughtered, skinned, hung, and butchered. In their five month reign in the lowlands below the house, they fattened themselves on the pastures and literally tons of fruit from the orchards where I work. Their flavor is the flavor of our soil. Their flavor is the fruit of the farm where I spend my days. These pigs ate a thousand plums off of the very tree that we smoked their meat with. Their bones and hide and dung now fertilize those very pastures and those plum trees, and their flesh and their lard will sustain us for the coming year.
We are learning how to close the loop a little bit. We’re learning what the land can handle, what it can’t and ways that we can improve the health of pastures, the happiness of the pigs and the flavor of the pork. And the flavor of the pork, if we do say so ourselves, is indeed approaching sinful. I can understand why swine is against the law in certain circles, after hearing the hedonistic exaltations coming from around the dinner table as we tore into the first batch of ribs, jowl bacon and chorizo.
But I digress. What I really wanted to discuss today was the existence of the soul. With every bite that we have taken of that delectable swine, we have said the words “Thank you Chulo. You were a good pig. You had a pretty damn good life.” And through our minds run the memories of him wrestling with his brothers, or sleeping in his food bowl, or leaning in hard to our legs as we scratched his back. We are reminded of these things. And his soul lives on. He was a good pig.
We participated in the Homestead Barn Blog Hop.
The last step is the hardest. Congrats on being strong enough to close the loop. You are truly earning the title of ‘caretaker’ for your land.
Thanks Chris. I like that: “caretaker” as opposed to manager.
Alas yoor poric, I knew him. Nice piece.
I thought that was some gaelic reference, but I’m guessing now it’s a keypad issue. You knew him when he was but a lad. Hopefully you’ll know him slow roasted when you visit next summer.
How excited I was to find your blog about sailing and transitioning to farming, exactly what my husband and I (we are fellow Washingtonians) are planning on doing. I loved, loved, loved your goat pictures and was utterly dismayed that your killed and slaughtered your pig friends. I hope in the process you found some humanity and compassion in your hearts and will choose not to have animal friends in the future. There is a multitude of other sources of food to eat besides the animals that made you laugh and brought you joy. They do not have the ability to defend , lobby or speak for themselves. Please consider respecting them, they have feelings and senses too.
Thank you so much for your comment. As we’ve made the choice to consume meat in our diet, we feel that raising our own animals is the best, most humane method of doing this. This method allows us to know exactly where our meat comes from, to ensure they had a wonderful life and a humane death. We’re sorry this philosophy doesn’t align with yours and wish you the best on you and your husbands’ transition to farming.
– Katie and Mark
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