Just Another Day on the Farm…Sort Of

A very blurry, rainy picture of Michael with a rifle.

*The following is my experience with the death of a pig. Although I purposely didn’t include graphic detail (as I don’t think it’s completely necessary) it still might be upsetting to some.

Last Friday I was out on the farm, like usual this time of year. Around 3, the time I’d normally be getting ready to pack up and head home, Michael said they would need to go out and slaughter one of the pigs. Joel would be coming back in about an hour to assist.

This pig had a hernia and it had doubled in size overnight. The vet didn’t seem very optimistic. So, that was that.

Right away I asked if I could come. As soon as the words left my mouth I was worried I’d made a big mistake. What if I was super scared, or nauseous, or sad? What if I just started crying right there in front of Michael and Joel?

Then I just told myself that no matter what, I had to do it. If Chris wants to raise pigs for charcuterie I need to be aware of what I’m getting into. I need to know that if need be I could participate and not have a meltdown. I was going to go out into that field and watch the whole thing, eyes open.

In the field it was pouring rain. The pig went down with one shot, thankfully. Everything went how it should, and it was pretty quick. I actually watched the whole thing and I was completely fine. I was actually very surprised by the fact that I was so calm.

They had to move the pig to a different field to gut it. I stayed back so I wouldn’t be in the way, but at one point Michael said I could come closer and look. It just reminded me of high school science class. It was interesting and informative and I was glad I was there.

As someone who didn’t eat meat for a very long time, this was a huge step for me. Ever since I started eating meat again I’ve been very aware of what I’m eating when I’m eating meat. I think about it every single time. I remind myself to be appreciative.

When it was all over I thanked the pig. I’m glad she lived a good life and although it’s unfortunate that she was having health problems, I’m glad she went easily. If you can ever get the chance to get this close to your food source (assuming you eat meat) I suggest it.



4 thoughts on “Just Another Day on the Farm…Sort Of

  1. Deanna (Silly Goose Farm)

    I remember when I was in my young teens (14ish) “my” cow had fallen on ice outside the barn and had an injury that couldn’t really be fixed. I was given the shotgun and told “you raised it, you shoot it.” I cried the whole time, but it made me realize more than ever the journey we have with our livestock/food.

    Do you think you’ll be able to watch something like that again? Good for you for wanting to take part in the experience. It’s hard but important.

    1. Erika T. Post author

      I would definitely watch it again. I know in the future I will have to slaughter my own animals and I’m prepared to learn directly from people who are already good at it so that I don’t screw it up.

      It definitely helps to really see the behind-the-scenes of what we eat.


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