Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's Nearly Time

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.


Mouse said...

I Know exactly what you mean .. I hate it when we do the chickens but that's life you have to eat in order to live .... and I'm a softie too .. love mouse xxxx

Witch Hazel said...

I had a bit of an epiphany one day as I was cooking pasta for my garden chickens. I wanted to make sure that the chicken I eat had the same fabulous free range life as my spoilt garden girls, and I realised the only way to do this was to raise them ourselves. That's what we now do. I still find it very hard when it comes to it, and sometimes I do think about just not eating chicken at all... but then it would be sad that our lovely little birds would never have a chance of life and we'd never meet them. So, we continue.
Chicken has become something of a special meal now, and out of respect for them, we also make sure we don't waste anything.
I really admire you for doing pigs, as I think they must be even easier to get attached to than the chooks.

Mo and Steve said...

It is the saddest part isn't it? But look how happy those pigs are :) It was our first time last year, and our time is drawing near again. As someone said to me "now is the time to show your respect for them".
Hope all goes well. Mo

dirtycowgirl said...

Personally I rarely eat red meat, and even then only lamb and although I've never been vegetarian I do cook a lot of veggie meals. Nothing to do with principals, just taste.
But I do buy free range animal products.
Utmost respect for what you do Lee but I'm curious as to whether you eat meat from your own animals ?
A friend once made me goat curry - I thought it was mutton, half way through the mean she informed me that I was eating the goat I'd been petting in her garden for weeks.
I was sick.

NunneryFarm said...

@Mouse &
@Witch Hazel - Its funny, I always thought chickens were much harder, although I would like to go down that path, I don't think I am brave enough at the moment to kill them myself so lots of respect there, although I may be asking for advice in the future! Thanks for the comments of support x

@Mo&Steve - Thanks for your comment. You are right, this part to any animal lover is truly awful but you are right when you speak of respect, the way they live when they are with us is as it should be and that is worth it in itself. Free Range Pigs are the only pigs that produce Happy Pork!!

@dcg - Hello! Yes, I do eat my animals, especially pigs ... Gosh that sounds awful (but I never know which animal I am eating, I kill at least 2 at a time, some gets sold, some goes in the freezer, so its not like eating an animal you treat like a pet, even though I do grow to love them) - I found that I couldn't take farming cruelty any longer (pigs are treated so bad) and needed to rear my own food so that I knew exactly what went into it and that it was loved. I still find it hard if I think about it too much but by selling to local people and restaurants I hope they taste the difference and never go back to supermarket cruel pork.