Thursday, January 29, 2009


FB: "Oh, by the way, my Mom wants to know if you want to go to a pig slaughter next weekend."
ME: ".........a what?"
FB: "A pig slaughter. In Burgundy. You wanna go?"
ME: "......." (lost in images of Charlotte's Web meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
FB: "Hello?"
ME: ", the invite is to go watch a pig get butchered? With like, a knife? Is it like...alive?"
FB: "Yes, of course it's alive, then it gets slaughtered. Then it's dead. Then you butcher it."
ME: "Right. Of course. My college degree in Theater covered that. Wow. OK. Well, sure, I'll go...I mean when was the last time I got invited to a slaughter? I should get out more anyway."

Each year my French in-laws buy a pig from the farm next door and help slaughter and butcher it. We ate last year's pig for months, every time we visited we would walk away with a bag of meat. So I decided to go this weekend. For a week I have been professing my noble reasons for wanting to become one with the animal before I eat it, for wanting to witness where my meat comes from. If I am to eat it, then I must bear witness and thank it for it's meat. Become at peace with the food chain, blah blah blah.
My Greek accordionist friend who grew up with many farm animals asked me today after I told him where I was going and after spouting my lofty city/fake hippie girl "gets" the country life reasons.....

GA: "So, have you ever seen an animal killed before?"
ME: "Wulll....not really....I guess...(desperately searching for any moment in my New Jersey suburban childhood that might include an animal slaughter) I guess never."
GA: "I have to tell you, with a pig, it can be quite brutal, especially the squealing, it's very human and you may be traumatized. And there is a LOT of blood."
ME: ", I just like, want to...(images of knives) know...(sounds of humanlike pig squealing)....SEE what I'm eating (bloody carnage images) know....(trails off)"

I'm still going. Tomorrow morning I set out solo on a train to watch Wilbur's throat get cut and chopped into pieces. Just a weekend getaway with my French in-laws, the farmers, a pig and one possibly vomiting, crying city girl traumatized for the next six years. I may return on Monday a vegetarian. Or more likely strapped to a gurney, frothing at the mouth, eyes bugging out of my head while I scream uncontrollably "IT WAS ALIIIIIIVE, IT WAS ALIIIIIIIIIVE, IT WAS ALIIIIIIIIVE!!!!"

Bon weekend.
Party on.



BJ Lantz said...

My gawd, I've almost become a vegetarian just reading this.... Seriously, you couldn't pay me enough to go to something like that. I'd say you're a brave girl, but I'm starting to wonder if insane fits better.... :-)

Michelle said...

Oh bloody hell Dana, this is going to take your creative works to whole new levels. I admire your resolve but will think no less of you if you pull out ;-)

I was just talking about this recently with someone who has moved to France. He was asked to go and help his elderly neighbours with some pigs. He thought he might be moving them to a new pen or something. Nope, he was wanted to help do what you are about to do.

Did you ever see the movie Babe? (or, Babe, the Gallant Pig, in the YS)
It's about a talking pig who doesn't want to be a pig, he wants to be a sheepdog. The movie was a big hit and afterwards the pig meat industry in Australia (there must be a better word for that) had to run a massive advertising campaign to get Australians eating pork again

Michelle said...


And I don't know how to properly insert links in comments---sorry

(I really do need to drink coffee before logging on in the mornings)

margaret said...

So .... are you back from the Pork Madness weekend? Are you sufficiently recovered to write? Dying to hear your personal take on the whole affair.