It was almost a year ago now that Kevin and I, with the help of friends, slaughtered our pigs. It was a brutally difficult day.
Shooting, bleeding, gutting, and de-hairing a 300-pound animal is an indelible experience, and that day encroaches on every other memory I have of Tiny, Spot, and Doc. Death looms larger than the way they ran to the fence when they heard us coming, or how they learned to press the button on the waterer to fill the bowl, or the fun they had in the shower.
This morning I was cleaning off some old SD cards, and came across a video of Kevin, on a hot day last July, turning the hose on them.
There’s a limit, I think, to how finely we can tune our understanding of what goes on in the mind of an animal. If pigs could tell us how they’d like to live, I’m sure even people who know pigs well would be in for some surprises. But you can’t spend time with animals without getting some sense of what they like and what they don’t, what makes them suffer and what brings them joy. If we’re going to keep animals, for pets or for food, those are important things to know.
For the record, pigs like showers.