Countdown to Slaughter

Countdown to Slaughter

On December 5th and 6th, Blue Hill Itinerant Slaughter is scheduled to slaughter a half dozen of my pigs.  On the 7th I will drive the carcasses to Maple Lane Farms for processing.  At this point I don’t know what my role will be, if any, in the slaughtering process; we haven’t worked out the …

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Coming to Terms

Coming to Terms

I can’t keep a dozen pigs for the rest of their lives.  Caring for twelve two hundred pound animals through good times and bad for the next fifteen to twenty years is a commitment of energy, time and money beyond my reach.  If the decision were entirely up to me or if I were surrounded …

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The Ubiquity of Bacon And Other Observations

The Ubiquity of Bacon And Other Observations

Bacon has a long history of killing would-be vegetarians.  This weekend at a wedding reception in Connecticut I, without thinking, plucked a bacon wrapped scallop from a tray and had the delicious morsel poised for consumption when I stopped, stunned by the power of bacon, and tried, without success, to continue my conversation with a …

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Barrows and Gilts

Barrows and Gilts

Thus far I have not referred to my pigs with proper pig terminology.  Female pigs who have not yet had piglets are called gilts.  Once they become mothers, they are sows.  Male pigs are boars, but castrated males are barrows.  When Nathan delivered my pigs a few months ago, I believe he told me that …

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And Then There Were Twelve

And Then There Were Twelve

Trout, one of the pigs here for the summer, was always game for a belly rub.  She’d amble over, stretch herself out, and wait for attention with her eyes closed, a picture of relaxation and trust.  So it was curious, yesterday, when she and Truffle were shipped back to their farm of origin, that her …

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Pork Belly Futures

Pork Belly Futures

In July of 2011, after a run of 50 years, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ended the trading of pork belly futures.  There was a time when the consumption of bacon, the most critical third of a BLT, saw a bump in the summer, and the future price of pork belly was something of an indicator …

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Publicity Stunt

Publicity Stunt

Got a call from a Bangor TV station today looking for a ten minute good-news interview about something positive happening in my town.  (Full disclosure: This was not a random inquiry; I’m part of town government.)  The station is going to be in the neighborhood tomorrow to film a segment on the sale of the …

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Phylogeny Recapitulates Ontogeny

Phylogeny Recapitulates Ontogeny

This week the New York Times reported that we’re one step closer to using pigs as organ donors thanks to breakthroughs in gene-editing.  I wonder what would happen if we had to choose between using pigs to save lives and using pigs for bacon.  With a carefully worded ballot question, bacon might come out on top …

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Reading Material

Reading Material

I just finished Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals.  It’s an engaging and informative exploration of what it means to eat meat which, 99 percent of the time, means eating products of the industrial food system.  If there’s any point driven home consistently and powerfully over the course of the book, it’s that our system of …

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Necessity

Necessity

If you’re Muslim and in a life threatening situation for lack of food, consumption of pork is allowed, but don’t enjoy it and only eat enough to solve the immediate crisis. That’s my understanding of the Islamic Law of Necessity as it pertains to prohibited food.   I, for one, don’t have the comfort that …

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