On the business of pork part 1
Pork is good, lets talk about it and lets start at the beginning.
We have a homesteading mentor. She has a little goat farm up in Bethel and that farm is clustered with a few other farms. All of the people in the cluster work together and help each other out. In this case, one person raised 5 pigs for 4 of the surrounding farms. There is no sense in everybody raising a pig and duplicating all this effort. The pigs stayed in the pasture of one farm and everybody pitched in with the feeding and care.
And everybody pitched in and helped with the slaughter.
The pigs live in an open pasture with a pen in there, a pig pen as it were. They have a lot of room to run around and do piggy things. They are fat and happy and calm. It was very very important the the pigs not be stressed or scared or otherwise upset. The 'harvest' took place right there in the pasture. You would think that would be upsetting to them but it absolutely was not. There was no chasing, no herding, no panicking at all. Just pigs wandering around being all pig like
We went up to watch and maybe help. I did not commit to any help because I did not know how much I could handle.
When we got there they had one pig down and had just started the skinning process. I was okay with that. It was meat in a pig suit. I know where meat comes from, it comes from there. Fine.
He went to do the next pig. The pigs were calm
He walked up to the group of pigs, put a .22 rifle with short rounds between the eyes of a pig and shot it. The gun was very quiet, the other pigs jumped away but didn't run or panic or get upset. The shot pig fell to the ground and started seizing and then he reached down and slit the neck.
There is nothing poetic about a pig dieing, nothing beautiful about it. It is visually a bit brutal but you remember that the pig is not in pain, there is no more mind in there to register and react to things.
I forced myself to watch the whole thing. And that was okay, tough but okay. They grabbed the pig with the hooks and brought it over to where they were skinning the pigs. A pig suit meat pig was okay, a pig dieing was okay. Transitioning that pig from dead to meat what what got me. Those first few cuts, the occasional twitch, I couldn't do it. I quietly left and walked back up to the farm.
David stayed to help and got to inspect all the organs and everything. I'm a bit envious about that, I would have liked to have seen that. But not on that day.
The next time they do this I will try again.
Once the pigs are skinned, emptied of organs and split in half they get sent to a butcher who breaks them down into the various wanted and then sent back to the people.