Friday, September 07, 2007

Life cycles

Tomorrow the three pigs will go to the processsor along with a pig from another farm close by. Processor is just a polite term for slaughterhouse, a term that always makes me cringe.

Living on a farm one is supposed to become steeled to the fact that animals are part of the food chain and in some ways I have come to terms with that. But the pigs.... The pigs are more amicable. You can scratch behind their ears and they make grunting noises. You can pat their solid backs and sides and they snort. You can rub their pink, rubbery noses and they look at you trustingly. Am I turning the pigs into my own versions of Babe?

I've tried to push it to the back of my mind all day but each time I think of their fate, I feel rather sick. They've had good lives. They've eaten corn and apples and potatoes and had the best accomodation, clean water, listened to CBC in the absence of humans and had geese and baby ducks for pen mates. They've had heat lamps to take off the chill of night when they were small and large fans to cool them in the hottest days. They've lived a good life. Just rather short. They are 24 weeks old and weigh about 180 pounds each. There are people waiting for the meat, but I still don't know if I can eat them.

Farm life sucks sometimes.

So I draw. The beginning of a sketch of Tripod. That accusing stare. His right eye I think was affected by the loss of his leg on that side and is sometimes closed more. Its more apparent in this drawing and makes it look lopsided, but the eyes really are shaped differently.

3 comments:

"JeanneG" said...

They sure don't look like 180lbs. But they sure are the cleanest pigs I have ever seen. Couldn't eat them tho. I even have trouble when I am chewing meat if I think of where it comes from.

Quilt Knit said...

Hi! They are beautiful! I lived on a farm as a child. I took care of Red's pigs and of Betsy's Pigs, till they were porkers. I never got upset until Aunt Till, and GrandMa came home at Christmas one time. We had one Gobbler -Christmas- He was going to be a fine Male Turkey, He was smart for Turkey, He was coming into His own. Well, a truck pulled up the day after They arrived and not only did the pigs go but they took Our Sows, Red and Betsy. GrandMa took Christmas to Her sisters. Seems they needed extra Christmas money. I do not believe I have ever felt good about Christmas since. This act, substantially, put the farm in a position that it never recovered from. We had no sows. They also took the top Jersey Bull and Heifer that were registered and had won ribbons. They sent them all to the processor.
Sherrie

Paulette said...

The drawing of the cat could stop now and be a very striking piece.
I'm sorry you're seeing your pigs go. I don't imagine knowing they were raised for this makes it any easier when the time comes.