Only a few days now before slaughter. The date for slaughter is Friday the 14th. We will load the four piglets into a trailer and head off to a slaughter house south of Puallyup where they are USDA approved and have an inspector present. I am clueless from then on what to expect.
Shelly and Mike have a relationship with this salughter house and they are necessary to carry out the slaughter. Mobile slaughter units exist in other counties with an inspector present , but unfortunately not one here in King County. This needs to change. A mobile unit is more cost effective and for obvious reasons easier on the pigs and the farmers. There is an effort currently driven by Ron Sims and local farmers to make this happen for King County.
Life of a Pig continues to be a very fulfilling and educational journey for me. I have learned more about factory farming than I ever wanted to know. My obsession with pig farming has taken me to fun and educational pig "sights" at the farm AND horrible sites on the internet and even TV. Two postings ago I was sitting at my computer late one night and trying to figure out what to write and also flipping through TV channels and I came across a vegan program that was about pigs and the factory farm. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and as you may imagine, the worst of the worst was being filmed. First of all, the timing was sureal and I spent way too many hours writing about why we shouldn't by pork, then Ideleted the posting in the morning. My goal is not to change our eating habits, but to entice you to explore healthy, humane and sustainable alternatives when we have the opportunity.
After spending many weeks at the farm and observing, playing, scratching and feeding piglets, sows and a boar, hanging out with Shelly, Mike, Cosmo and Della I feel a huge swell of pride and gratitude that I have this opportunity. To know your farmer is to to know your pigs, carrots, potatoes and everything else they grow. It is a rewarding relationship. Life of a Pig connects us to a very primal experience that isn't necessary 24/7. I believe, if it's only every now and again that we actually THINK about what we consume, its a good beginning towards a more connected relationship with our food.
Many years ago I was travelling in Thailand. One afternoon I picked up a young Thai couple in my truck who were hitchhiking. The woman was very pregnant. They were looking for a ride to the hospital as she needed a checkup. I waited for them at the hospital and gave them a ride back home. They would not let me leave after dropping them off before they could thank me by feeding me a bowl of soup. I watched them ladle a huge bowl of broth that included the entrails of one of their home grown pigs. A couple of hogs and a few piglets were running around with some chickens and a monkey. People and animals were together. Not something I suggest for us here in America but it was an experience I will never forget. As they ate their rice and vegetables, which looked delicious I had no choice but to eat up the pork soup with entrails, that trust me was NOT USDA inspected pork. I was their guest and they honored me by giving me their best soup. It must of been a freshly slaughtered pig and the first item from the pig to use up are the entrails. Can't say I was hugely excited at the time, but I ate it and there were absolutely NO side affects, if you know what I mean.
The Farmers Markets are the best opportunity we have to support our family farms. They will be starting up this month and will be in full swing by the end of May.
Visit www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org. and view a detailed listing of startup dates, locations and the participating farmers. Make a commitment this year to go more often and get to know your farmers and community better. Everything "under the sun" is there as well as pork, beef, chickens, eggs, even fish.
Life of a Pig gently nudges you and me to a more thoughtful process of what, where, why and how we consume. The Farmers hold the answers to the what and where, I will continue to explore the whys and hows for my restaurant and my personal life.
I will make a strong attemp to post a little something before our dinner April 20th @ 6pm and let you know how slaughter went. If you still want to make a reservation for Celebrate Life of a Pig , please call 206-728-4220.
Thanks again for visiting!