Everyone said "don't name them, you should never name your food". Well, that lasted all of five minutes. I felt it was cruel for an animal to go through life being called "hey pig" and they were promptly named Miss Piggy and Squee. What we know now, that we didn't know then, was that they truly were our training wheel pigs and they took it easy on us.
They were healthy and lazy and rarely rooted or tried to escape (except once). They were very food motivated and screamed bloody murder every time they saw you, to tell you that they were in fact, starving to death even, though you just fed them an hour ago. They loved butt scratches and belly rubs and were generally just laid back pigs.
Then the time came to send them to heaven. No one believed that I would be able to let them go and everyone, including my husband, felt they were going to end up as lifelong pets. Then we made the appointment with the butcher. As the day drew closer, I did have several fleeting urges to put them into a sort of piggy witness protection and hide them in the woods.
When the day arrived for them to go, I could not be there. I was a coward and left my husband to load them up and drop them off. I knew if I had to help, I would chicken out. I said my good-byes the night before and made them a last supper of all their favorite foods: pumpkin cake, sweet potatoes, apples and cabbage.
And so they went... and it was sad. I tried my best to remember that we had made a commitment to raise healthy animals for our table and give them the best life possible. Remind myself that we had done just that and their short time with us had run its course. That they lived a good life, with grass under their feet and sun on their backs, rather than crammed into a factory farm and force fed loads of antibiotics. All the rationalizing in the world still didn't make it easier, it was still sad. I guess that was the final lesson they had to teach.
So- thank you girls, for teaching us how to care for pigs and to be more connected to our food and for your sacrifice to feed our family.