Sunday, 4 December 2016

" That Stupid Pig Woke Me Up Far Too Early. "

A Saturday morning with a difference.

Extra English lessons on a Saturday morning aren't really the thing with teenagers, and who can blame them. For a morning person like me, half past nine is just on the near side of lunch, but out of politeness I inquired if she had had a good night's sleep and was ready to learn.

" That stupid pig woke me up too early! "
and just like that I was in the middle of a social dilemma. Her mum had just come into the room and she was looking at her as she made this outrageous statement. She is a nice and normal teenager and apart from the odd missing please & thank you nothing that could have predicted this outburst.

My face must have spoken volumes, because before I could find my voice again, and mentally thinking that my mum would have been on the extreme side of irate if I had spoken of her like that, she burst out laughing and said:

" No really, Biggi, a pig woke me up. My grandfather's pig is being slaughtered today and it had got away from them and squealed like mad outside my window. "

Whew, what a relief, although perhaps not for the pig. At first I pictured the scene and felt bad for the pig, but as I eat meat it seemed a bit hypocritical and this is the best way to procure a schnitzel etc. Once you have to slaughter your own pig in order to get your bit of ham, sausage or bacon on your plate, you'll start to appreciate and value it more. More importantly, waste it less...

That whole morning I thought about this sad and rather sudden end to a pig's life and even considered becoming a vegetarian. It's not often that we are confronted with the mental image of what the first step in the meat production process is. The window dressed, and beautified pieces of pork on the supermarket shelves, make us forget that an actual pig had to give up its life for us. Raising them in a big pig sty, with enough of a paddock for a reasonably happy roaming life, is an honest, good and actually the best way.

In fact, it should be the only way if one lives in the country and has the space for it. We'd eat less meat and would get rid of those atrocious pig factories. Bob and I have enough space, but would we have the nerves needed to kill a pig? Somehow I don't think so and our barn and surrounding garden might become many a pig's sanctuary...