Oh, what to do… what to do.

pork chop

(Please ignore the unsightly pallets in the background, just another project in the works!)

More and more often I am finding myself confronted with the question, “Are you really gonna be able to do it?”

“Yes,” I say with determination. Yes. We will eat the pig.

But in the back of my mind I realize that it’s so much easier said than done. I do realize this. But, if you know me at all, you know that I am one who does what she sets out to do. Though tempted at times, I am not a quitter. I am stubborn and persistent.

And I am determined to follow through with the plan.

I am, however, afraid that there is an even harder question that I must face…

Are you gonna be able to do it? Or, at least, watch me do it.

I’m a little concerned that you guys are growing a bit, well… attached… to Mrs. Porkchop!

Com’mon guys, you knew what she was for when we got into this mess to begin with! You gotta be strong with me!

If you are going to live the homesteading life, even if only living it vicariously through us, you gotta take the good with the bad!

But I have to admit. It’s gonna be hard. Really hard. I mean, just look at that face! She’s like a loyal dog… just a lot more trouble.

Boy, I hope I don’t cry like a sissy!

We still have a few more months to go though, so you softies out there have a little more time to prepare yourselves.

This is life. Just don’t hate me when it’s all said and done! 🙂

Kendra
About Kendra 1117 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

23 Comments

  1. This post really hits me at home. My husband and I discussed getting rabbits- I grew up on a farm where we had calves, chickens and rabbits -all so we could have food. But the BIGGEST question was, would he let the rabbits be supper…

  2. Don’t coddle it, don’t call it your baby(babies) The thing does act like a dog that is happy to see you! If you make it too personal like that I just don’t see how you would! I mean my dog sits in my yard and she greets me at my door when I come home… Just sayin. not trying to sound nasty but it just seems to me the more petlike you make it and not farm animal then yeah it would be like killing your dog to eat, sorry but from the outside that’s how I see it!

  3. Did not God bless you with the pig, the feed, the health for your family to feed it, the land to raise it on? It would be sin to NOT butcher and eat the pig. It is God’s provision for your family. It’s ok if you don’t watch the pig getting butchered, or you take the pig to the locker plant for them to kill, butcher and process the hog.
    I do agree, next time don’t name it. It isn’t a pet. It’s dinner. Or breakfast, etc. It’s also hormone free and good for your kids. Better than the junk you buy in the store.
    You just need a negative experience with the pig. Then you won’t feel so “warm and fuzzy” about the pig. We had a steer that would try to kill you when you got in the stall to clean it, feed it, etc. the whole family was tired of taking our life in our hands to try to treat it good.
    Ever hear the saying “there’s no free lunch?” It’s just time for the pig to pay for lunch!
    It will be easier next time!

  4. Kendra, Snicker……..I KNOW that I would be petting her and rubbing her little tummy and watching her pig tail wag. My niece’s family had a pig once and it would run home and greet them like a dog when they came home in the car. I have heard that they can get mean, though.

    We are only part way to our homesteading experience, and I completely love reading your blogs. We have redone a mobile home that we purchased for $4000, it was horrible the day that we bought it, but you would never know it was the same place now. Next our hopes is to get all of the credit cards off of us, then we will look for 2-5 acres. It’s a slow process, but worth it. We are living in the mobile home now, with just a few more updates on it to do.

    You can see pics of our home here:

  5. I don’t know what to say. I love that little pig and he is a part of your family now. I know your dog will miss him too. I fell pretty torn and understand why you got him and what may have to happen but it is hard. Part of me feels happy he had a happy great life. Part of me thinks that was the best gift you could have given in exchange for his life. I feel for you and hope whatever happens it will be ok.

  6. I totally get it….once they have a name it is hard to eat them. We raise rabbits (to eat)and I only allow my hubby to name the ones we keep alive to breed. The cute, fuzzy little baby bunnies don’t get named because I know they will end up on my plate in a few weeks. Be strong, girl!!!!

  7. Hello, am glad to be reading your posts. This one is near to my heart. Many years ago when blessed with pigs each year, we raised them and did indeed eat them. They had their own pen made out of pallets. We put rings in their noses and it worked just fine. Just like piercing our ears in a way. I worked with them even while pregnant, we did not keep them past the year. I named each of them and it was the best pork we ever ate. I have not found any like it since and yearn to do it all again. We treated them well, fed them and kept them as honored pigs pets/guests. You must remember with any large animal that what is cute when they are small will become more dangerous with their adulthood. They are what they are. Dignified living and honorable killing is the order of the day and thanking them by loving them while alive. Makes for a great system, one that has been lost in those factories.

    Good luck in your endeavors, I am here to root you on. Currently our pallets are made into compost bins and ripped apart to repair bird houses. So no apologies are needed, I wish to see all you do and not judge.

  8. You go, girl! Our dream is to have enough land to get some animals to raise for meat. Our trouble lies with our 9 year old son. Every time we begin to talk about it – he resorts to tears (animal lover that he is). And, we don’t even have animals, yet! “How will that poor cow feel, thinking that he is part of the family and then we kill him?” That’s going to be our issue. Looking forward to seeing how it works out with you and your family first. :0)

  9. I was raised on a semi-farm 🙂 My grandfather was a farmer and we lived right down the hill from him. I grew up with beef cows and we had a pig once (I named him AJ). But, it was just a part of life for me. The animals were raised for food. And I really appreciated the taste of the meat 🙂 In fact, I’m still a snob about store bought meat 🙂 I haven’t actually had to do any butchering myself, but we are going to be raising chickens at some point…hopefully sooner rather than later, and we are going to butcher them ourselves. When it comes time to, you’ll do it. I know you will. And we’ll be right here supporting you!
    By the way, when I went to high school in the ‘big’ city everyone was totally grossed out that we grew and ate our own beef. I was always like, where do you think the stuff in the grocery store came from? Lol.

  10. My husband was raised on a hog farm so he would think nothing of it. I think I would get too attatched, but if you back out now then it won’t be any easier the next time so I would get tough and just do it I say get tough because how you react will affect how the kids react and you don’t want them to be overly upset because they know you are

  11. no way, I knew from the start that I could never do it, I guess I’d become a vegetarian. I used to know a lady who said she couldent eat anything that had a face. I thought that was personal. but, if the pig does turn out to get mean later on, I can see where that would help, otherwise…

  12. Odd thing about slaughtering farm animals. The mammals, drop right down if you shoot them between the eyes, even with a tiny .22. But they kick, so it is kind of dangerous and tricky to jump in and cut the jugular to bleed them out in the death throes. (Scares me, I let DH do it!) But a bird can be shot so you can see right through it’s head and keep on pecking and eating like nothing happened. Kind of freaky and a waste of bullets.
    Comforting thing is it really is pretty humane to kill a large farm animal with a head shot. It is very quick so there is no time to suffer at least we have never had that problem. We decided our own comfort isn’t worth the discomfort of the animal and do not starve them the last day of their lives to clear the digestive system or send them to a scary unknown slaughter house. Instead we give them a favorite treat so they are happily distracted and eating when they go. Once the head and skin is removed, it looks like meat hanging there. Even if you are sentimental you shouldn’t have too much problem processing. It might be better to stop treating them like pets once they reach adulthood otherwise you might want to have someone else do the deed.

  13. We are raising our first butcher hog too. About the fence issue.. the boards to do work 🙂 They don’t go through solid like fencing 🙂
    I also breed mini pigs.
    Any way… I am a big sissy when it comes to butcher time. Last time I didn’t cry, I got into a frame of mind to do it, did it, and than went to my room for the rest of the evening. I never ate the rabbits we butchered though, before they freezer burnt, I gave them away.
    We did however find a butcher shop that takes the animals live, and we return in a week to our packaged meat. We will be trying a cow next yr if this works out.
    I also want to live a farm life, and so much of it is so hard, and I enjoy your blogs, b/c so much I go through, I see you going through too… and some how makes my life seem ok when its a bad day 🙂

  14. At least her name reflects her purpose – you didn’t name her Daffodil or something like that! 😉 I can understand your hesitation AND your determination. We face that here. Mostly we’ve harvested game animals, though. We’ve yet to harvest something we raised, named, and had around for a long time.

    YOU CAN DO IT!!

  15. Ohhh, I hate to tell you this, but animals for slaughter shouldn’t have names. The minute you name them, it’s personal. Even names like Mrs. Pork Chops (which is actually very cute!). And if you cry, it’s okay. It shouldn’t give anyone great pleasure, but it is part of life. That goes for all of us out here reading, too!

  16. I am a vegetarian, and it would be hard for me to see the poor little one go, but you should not worry about us. Reading this blog we have all seen that you are just doing what is right for your family, and no one that I can think of is going to disown you for following through on what you think is best. Providing food for your family is just as instictual as fending off predator animals from your children, God will give you the strength and the knowledge to do what you need to do. … just don’t post pictures please …

  17. Lol! You sound just like me! I wouldn’t be able to, I would want to and have all intentions to……….but I think the pig would win out in the end. P.S. Stop petting the pig.

  18. We got a pig once, my Grandpa gave it to my little sister. My Dad said we would eat it, but it was a runt and we wanted to grow it. Ruth got major attatched to it – named her SWINE. Wanted a Bible name. She refused to let Dad butcher it out.

    BUT after a while she got mean – nothing would keep her in her pen and she was terrizing the neighborhood. One day she attacked Ruth – Ruth was fast and got over the enclosure before she could hurt her. Ruth marched right up to Dad and said, “Swine tried to BITE ME.” Dad said, Well, we are planning to make her into sausage.” Ruth says, “So what are we waiting for?”

  19. Oh Kendra
    Yes I know where you’re coming from. When we bought our calves, they were to raise & then eat – however we did the unthinkable – we named them & petted them & loved on them – needless to say they certainly weren’t butchered by us – sending them to the sale yards was hard enough. Now we do intend to butcher some of our sheep one day – but I tell you we keep putting it off.
    Just stop patting it.
    Renata 🙂

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