The Little Piggy at The Guardian

Interesting article in Saturday’s GuardianWeekend” colour magazine. It consisted of a photo essay extracted from a book, Pig 05049, by Christien Meindertsma, and an essay by author Bill Buford. Interesting for two reasons.

First, the photo essay documents 185 (well, some) products made from a slaughtered pig, including apple juice (gelatine), jigsaw puzzle (bone glue) and sandpaper (bone glue, again). Which goes to prove the challenge of living as a vegan. Some, would argue that it’s a pointless exercise. An impossibility. I say the journey to veganism is more important than arriving at its destination.

Second, interesting point is this: Why do people writing about being involved in the slaughter of animal always have to romantise the act? And load it up with sentimental tosh to make it appear profound? For example, Buford writes, “The blood collects in a bucket, which I stirred to keep from coagulating. I was given a ladle and invited to try it. I was surprised by the taste, which was vital and energising and happy.” What’s happy, exactly, about tasting the blood of a pig you’ve just killed? Then, there’s pseudo moralising and vacuous apology for the crime.

The effort took four men. The pig knew what was taking place. She was strong. She fought. There was no piggy squeal. There was a wide-open cry. She cried loudly and didn’t stop until a few seconds, and not more than a few seconds, after her heart was pierced. The cry reached far into the upper regions of sound; a high-pitched, baying wail that my brain was unable to edit out or regard as normal. Then, just as I tightened the rope around the animal’s leg, she looked at me, dead on, and locked me with her eyes. Why me? Among the faces of these hardened traditionalists, did mine convey unease? The lock was like a clamp. I wanted to turn away. I didn’t.