Thursday, January 29, 2009
PIG SLAUGHTER WEEKEND GETAWAY
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)
ME: "Uh.....sooooo....like, 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)...hmmm.....no. 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: "But....like, I just like, want to...(images of knives)...you know...(sounds of humanlike pig squealing)....SEE what I'm eating (bloody carnage images).....and....uh....you know....(trails off)....become....one...with...stuff?"
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!!!!"