Monday, March 3, 2014

We Killed the Pigs...

I think I told you, but awhile back we got some pigs.  They looked like this:


Now they look like this:

In between was a lot of food (mostly milk product waste from the cows) some blood, squealing (and not just pigs), guns, kids, and a whole lotta life.

I think one of the worst parts about our modern food-to-human situation is the completed disconnect between what we eat and how it got there, where it came from.  There's a lesson that was learned by all of us when we raised up some cute little critters for the main purpose of eating them - they did a little tilling for me too.  We knew it the whole time and they didn't.  Its not cruel, but its not easy either - at least it shouldn't be.  We should feel something.  I'm telling you, "Lamb of God" would mean a lot more to the Jew who spread blood across the front of their house than to us with stuffed animals and guts but no animal blood in our lives.   I read out-loud the following poem with the gun tucked under my arm before we shot it, though that doesn't kill it, and then ran in an cut its throat so that its heart would pump all out the blood before it was dead.  Then we strung it up and skinned and gutted it.  Then we cut it up into all those nice little cuts like at the store.  Then I skinned its head.  Don't like to hear about it?  Well, you need to.  Oh, and Jesus died for you.

For the Hog Killing

Let them stand still for the bullet, and stare the shooter in the eye,
let them die while the sound of the shot is in the air, let them die
as they fall,
let the jugular blood spring hot to the knife, let its freshet be full,
let this day begin again the change of hogs into people, not the
other way around,
for today we celebrate again our lives wedding with the world,
for by our hunger, by this provisioning, we renew the bond. 
© Wendell Berry
Collected Poems, 1957-1982. North Point Press, SanFrancisco, 1985. Originally published in A Part, 1980.


  1. Thinking ahead to our own slaughter in the fall as I read this. Excellent choice of words.

  2. I like both pictures, before and after. Was a great time, wish we could have stayed longer. J