Sadly it is almost time to say goodbye to the two Saddleback pigs I have on the farm at the moment. I have to organise a trailer and get my paperwork in order for tomorrow.
I have just brought the next set of weaners on to the farm which makes taking the older two a little bit easier to deal with because while I am looking after the little ones I am not thinking about the two that have gone. It works for me anyway but it is never something that I look forward to, enjoy or find easy to deal with.
I have never really been comfortable with the killing of animals for any reason and drifted in and out of vegetarian phases in my younger days. I think the first attempt at becoming a vegetarian was after buying The Smiths album and listening to Meat is Murder. Upon hearing Morrisey confirm the killing of an animal was death for no reason and death for no reason was murder my life as a vegetarian had begun to take shape .... unfortunately after many months struggling to find vegetable curry and breakfast without bacon tasty I decided that a vegetarian life was not really for me and so I started to think about how I could eat meat without the guilt trip it carried with it for me personally. This came about by me thinking of raising my own meat as strange as it sounds because that way I could ensure that the life any animal I raised for meat would be controlled by me and I could thereby ensure their life would be the best it could possibly be. In knowing that my pigs are raised the way nature intended without any growth hormones or cruel practices that routinely take place with indoor intensively farmed pigs I reached a place where I was happy to eat that meat.
This aside, the weeks leading up to the date that I take the animals to slaughter I still find terribly upsetting and I find it hard to think about anything else. I consle myself with the fact that they have had a great life that is not offered to many animals destined for the food chain. The first time I took animals to slaughter I realised just how much respect is required for the animal that in the end gives you everything.
So here I am at the saddest point in the journey that is home grown meat. I now need to get the papers and pigs ready so they can be transported.
I need to complete the BPEX forms (these are avilable online at the BPEX site) and email these to the Abattoir. The pigs will need to arrive no later than 10am in the morning. I will load the pigs on the trailer then ear tag them. I have always got someone else to do this for me just because I am a softy but I am going to try and do this myself this time ... lets see!! I will set off at 6.00am to get there before 7am which is the earliest I can unload them and then get them settled into their pen.
So it is a sad day but it is also makes me happy because I am standing for what I believe in and by doing what I do I am making a difference.