2020 was the very first time I have ever participated in the ethical raising, feeding, slaughtering and butchering of my own food. It was an experience I will never forget. I felt a range of emotions and being an integral part of the process allowed me to feel these emotions deeply. At the end of it what I felt was awe, respect and a profoundly deep appreciation for the pigs that gave their lives to feed me.
I was truly amazed at all the work that is involved in ethically raising pigs for food. First we had to dig holes for the posts (thankfully we have a tractor) for their spacious pig pen, put up the fencing, and build their house. The pigs were organically fed from food from the garden (many people on Lasqueti donated their unused, home grown produce) plus feed from our small local feed store. These were very happy, well fed, well loved pigs.
When slaughter day came I had an overwhelming range of emotions but felt if I was going to eat pig flesh, then I should be 100% part of the entire process. We had some local professionals come to do the killing, hanging, cleaning and processing of the pigs. I was dumbfounded at all the work that was involved. I watched from beginning to end, my husband helped where he could with our tractor. Not one part of the pigs were wasted. What was not fit for human consumption we fed to our dogs (or ravens/eagles/hawks), including the head and feet.
*****CAUTION, GRAPHIC IMAGES****