Pig Harvest

Yesterday we harvested a pig. These are the General’s thoughts as the meat sits in the cold room:

PIg Meat Stored in whit box

The logistics of harvesting a 350kg pig are massive. The variables are a headache. Careful planning is imperative; most importantly the initial harvest has to be well structured to ensure the safety of the harvester, and ethical handling of pig.  Pigs are as clever as dolphins, you don’t get a second chance. Again the process has to be done within 1/100 of a second  – stun, bleed.

Because pigs are so clever moving them any place that is not home will create stress. I chose to harvest this animal in its place of residence (because of its size-and to guarantee safety of all involved with the harvest).  The biggest challenge is the ability to move the pig for final harvesting.  I used 1 ton chain block and a trolley jack. Extra help was brought in to be able to move the carcass for processing.The simple task of moving a 350kg carcass 40m can be very challenging.

Hoisting pig carcass onto truck Hoisting Pig Carcass onto truck with wooden plank

I used an industry fan to keep fly’s off whilst dressing the pig. A 200L drum cut in half was used to boil water on a wood fire – the smoke of which keeps the flies at bay. We poured the boiling water over the carcass to scrape off the hair. The entire harvest took 4 hours. Extra hands on deck  made a world of difference to ensure a smooth harvest.

Pig on floor Taking hair off the pig carcass sl109 002 sl109 001

The bacon you buy at the supermarket was not a pig, nor was it an animal. Everything was stripped away. Its freedom was violated, its nature destroyed. The animal I harvested today was a pig; pigs should be on sand, outdoors and have a colorful mixed diet. It’s a domesticated animal but it should have the freedom to follow its natural behavior, and have freedom of stress, freedom of hunger and thirst.

There are many who love bacon, yet it’s only a few who love pigs. I love pigs. I might harvest and eat them, but I am accountable to the pork I eat, are you? The question you need to ask yourself when you are eating a bacon sandwich is this, “was the female who gave birth to what I am eating caged down to a cement floor so she could not move for 2 months?” If you can’t answer the question, then may I suggest you find out!

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