How we get pork

Last Sunday we slaughtered a pig. In the past we have taken pigs to a local abattoir/butcher, but changes to regulations have forced many small “artisan” butchers out of business. And this time we didn’t want to ship the pigs to a strange place, its a stressful thing for them. They are for our own consumption so we can do it on site, and we started with one yesterday.
A couple of friends came by to help, they had done same thing on their farm.
It went well, 410 shotgun with slug, in head, pig dropped immediately, no drama. It was bled via a cut at base of neck and down into aorta. Then we moved it to where we had a scalding bath set up (to loosen hair so it can be scrapped off).

The pictures are pretty self explanatory, but not for the faint of heart. After I post this I am off to make guanciale with the cheeks ( I didn’t take pics of the severed head, that’s a bit much).

  1. #1 by mike south on January 18, 2010 - 2:19 pm

    ‘changes to regulations have forced many small “artisan” butchers out of business’

    Isn’t it great to have an all-knowing entity make these decisions for us! What would we do without them?

    • #2 by albell on January 18, 2010 - 2:40 pm

      yup. the cost of bringing the small outfits up to snuff with new regs was more than most of them could manage. I think there is only one now, and its a fair ways away. One of the small places that no longer is in business was a very good butcher, and a considerate “killer”, if you know what I mean. You just don’t get that with bigger places.

      • #3 by mike south on January 18, 2010 - 11:04 pm

        ‘and a considerate “killer”, if you know what I mean. You just don’t get that with bigger places.’

        Yes–it’s sad how people forget the ethical stance of, yes, killing and eating animals, but doing it in a way that respects the gift that the animal is giving you.

        Even if you are not in a position to directly affect this (like you are now, since you are doing it all yourself), there are other ways, like selecting producers based on those considerations or even just making sure that if some of a meal does get thrown out, it’s not the meat. Little things like that keep in your mind the sacrifice that went in to the meal, I think.

      • #4 by albell on January 19, 2010 - 7:58 am

        I agree. Luckily there is a shop nearby that sells organic meats (pork, beef, chicken) that is raised locally. From what I have heard they do treat their animals as well as one can in a commercial op.

        Its been said many times before, but most folk have no idea what goes into that plastic wrapped package in the meat section of the supermarket. Nowadays meat is so removed from the source, and so damn cheap. I tell you, having to kill and butcher your own meat really does make you use ever part you can.

        Oh, another thing, most people don’t really like to talk about this, they don’t want to acknowledge the reality of killing to eat.

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