I know I’ve alluded to the fact that I don’t eat much meat and that I have rules about what meat I can and can’t eat. You’re probably wondering why. Why would I give up meat, especially when I live on a farm. Well… that’s not a simple question to answer.
At first I gave up all meat. As a bet. It was Valentine’s Day 1999. I was 16. At dinner with a bunch of friends somehow we got on the topic of vegetarianism and everyone was saying that they could respect the moral position but that they would never be able to actually stop eating meat. I already had a difficult relationship with meat (which is what happens when you are a sensitive girl who grows up on a farm always naming the cows, and your father- who has a strange sense of humor- likes to tell you exactly which cow you are having for dinner) and I’m about as stubborn as they come, so I declared myself a vegetarian.
It wasn’t meant to last that long. I just needed to prove that I could do it. But then it started to feel right. I LOVE vegetables and grains so I wasn’t hurting for yummy food. And I had removed myself from the guilt cycle I associated with meat. It was great!
It lasted 2 ½ years. At that point I had to admit that I wasn’t really healthy. I was basically living on pasta. I was feeling run down and weak. I needed protein but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat another stinking bean. And so I once again moderated my eating habits: now I would eat poultry and fish. Somehow I had convinced myself that this made sense.
It didn’t. I wasn’t the least bit informed about the lives of factory chickens other than knowing deep down that it couldn’t be nice. But I ignored that feeling for 8 years because I desperately didn’t want to stop eating poultry again. I was buying organic and free range, but what did that really mean? Pretty much nothing when it comes from a grocery store.
So, that’s kind of how I ended up where I am, doing what I am doing. I needed to get in touch. I needed to be hands on- even for the really unpleasant bits. I wanted to stop punishing myself for being an omnivore and start doing what it actually took to be proud of that fact. And that’s how the vegetarian who still cries watching Bambi AND Chicken Run became the farmer that slaughters her own chickens and turkeys in the backyard.
Which brings me to pork. I’ve basically had pork on my mind for the past 12 years. I’ve had small amounts of pork in the past year, but not much. Just enough, apparently, to make me desperate for more. The problem is that I don’t have a good local source of pastured pork, which is the only way I will be comfortable purchasing it. So I’ve been talking non-stop for a year and a half about how much I needed a pig (or 3).
Well, guess what? Christmas was AWESOME this year!
My brother and his fiance bought me this pig! She’s a total cutie. It’s going to be hard not to get attached. I’m working on getting 2 more because I know that would make it easier.
But really, all I can think of is bacon!