Monday, June 11, 2012 at 10:55 a.m.
After watching a group of pigs transform from living beings to plated pork belly, I'm kind of questioning myself as a person. My dad even asked, "Did I do something wrong in raising you?"
It's understandable where he is coming from. What kind of person chooses to stand by and watch the morbid process of a slaughter?
But this thought process is kind of the point, to help connect us back to our food, instead of simply thinking of bacon as something that comes wrapped in plastic.
Witnessing the transformation from pig to pork wasn't actually that bad. To start,
the hogs on Palmetto Creek Farms
are treated well. On most factory farms, the pigs' curly, corkscrew tails are cut off to prevent tail biting, a common occurrence among understimulated hogs living in cramped, boring environments. On Palmetto Creek, the pigs roam around in outdoor pens, cute little tails intact, snouts covered in mud with plenty of space to explore.
Although gruesome by nature, the slaughter process at Palmetto Creek was as humane as could be imagined. The animals are stunned before the process begins; from there, they don't feel a thing. I did not hear one animal scream out in pain. Had I, I probably would not have been able to eat bacon again.
In the end, I don't feel guilty for witnessing a slaughter. Yes, it was difficult to watch a healthy animal intentionally killed for consumption. But if it weren't for consumption, those specific animals would not exist. While I do think it would be rather beautiful and utopian to live in a society in which animals are not slaughtered, it's not going to happen. So if an animal is going to be slaughtered, it is nice to know it has been treated with respect. It is possible to be an ethically conscious omnivore: It starts with understanding the process.