A peasant becomes fond of his pig and is glad to salt away its pork. What is significant, and is so difficult for the urban stranger to understand, is that the two statements are connected by an and not by a but.
Because lately, I have had a lot of people exclaim at my reaction over one or our own animals.. not a pig in my case, but a lamb. I do really enjoy him, he is funny and goofy, and rushes up to us. When younger, he used to play with us. We have always been around in his life, and he has learned to trust us. I pat him most days. I also admire how he is growing and mentally imagine the roasting joints he will make. This is the bit people are squeamish about.. that I can enjoy him and want to eat him. But I can and do!
Bizarrely, only one of my friends that has winced over the idea is a vegan.. the others all eat meat too. I just don’t get it. They feel ok about the meat they eat, because they did not know the animal in question, and with that they don’t know how well it was kept, and handled. We might as well enjoy keeping livestock, and building up trust with our animals makes it better and easier for all concerned. Yes, I realise, in the last analysis, we will, If you want to put it this way ‘betray’ his trust in us, when we take him to slaughter, but it is still much nicer for him if being handled is stress free, if being loaded into the trailer is not a struggle etc. And on top of that, when we eat him, I will know that this meat came from a very happy animal, raised only on grass. Surely that makes more sense?
I had a lot of trouble taking a picture of Rogan – as when I enter the field, both he and his mum Sharona, rush up to me for scratches.. As soon as I rub Sharona’s back, Rogan barges in and vice verse. When I took a few steps back for a picture, they rush up to me again. Had to settle for closeups. He is growing really well.