J had decided that in the interest of maintaining the philosophical integrity of the project, someone had to attend the slaughter. Also that happened to be the only way to get our hands on the liver, which J wanted to turn into pate. While I appreciate this point of view and to some degree share it – if you are going to eat meat, you should get comfortable with what that really means – I also felt pretty certain that witnessing the slaughter would reduce me to a useless puddle for days. (For real, I can’t even handle campy horror movies.)
Kent, our butcher, doesn’t usually have folks attend the slaughter, and he had put some thought into how to handle ours so that it would work best for everyone. While I won’t go into details here, I will say that we were left with deep admiration for Kent and the care and respect that he has for the animals he handles. Based on J’s report, and talking to Kent about his process afterward, I felt like our pig had received the best possible treatment both during his life and at the end of it.
I gather that occasionally the PETA folks storm the doors of the Old Fashioned Country Butcher in an effort to – well honestly, I’m not totally sure what PETA people are after when they make moves like this. But here’s the truth: if you care about animals, but mean to eat them anyway, you really can’t do much better than to work with Kent and his crew. If you don’t appreciate what Kent is doing, then you simply don’t believe that we should be eating animals at all, and that is a different discussion entirely.
The next part went shockingly fast, according to J. Kent has been at this for a while, and she says that he moved with tremendous skill and efficiency. J left with the liver and the heart, and a date to return in a few days for the final cuts.