Monday, March 10, 2014

Pig Wisdom.

"I don't name anything I'm going to eat." This was the second time I heard this today.

"Is that typical farming practice?" I inquired distastefully.

"I dunno. I just can't eat something I am personally connected to." This wasn't the first time I had heard this either today.

What is it about naming then? My class, my 16 Wonders as I call them, went over to 2 farms today, one organic and one urban, to learn about how people help and support the earth. I was surprised to learn so much about pigs and which parts of them are more delicious than others. As one among the three vegetarians in the group, it was fascinating to stand amidst a group of screaming children. "Ribs! Bacon! Hot Dogs! Mmmm!" It took some effort to push away the images of the pig in front of me. It lay there, exhausted under its 350 lbs transforming almost cartoon-like into a stack of bloody ribs, a fleshy pile of belly, and...and...I don't know what part(s) of the pig is (are) really in a hot dog. I took it in, realized that I didn't have to name it to not want to eat it, and then walked away.

But really. What is it about naming then? Is it harder to eat a nameless thing? Is it because we as humans bestow value onto a life when we name it? Or is it because we protect ourselves from having to  watch Old Boy or Nova or Jenny from going to slaughter house or a processing center? Taking a pig or 5 of them to be eaten is easier than taking Minnie, Jo, Tag, Ruddy, and Phil? Hmm...

One of my Wonders came up to me and slipped his hand into mine. "Suparna, I like animals and wouldn't kill them because I like them." I braced, inhaled, and sighed, "I too like animals and wouldn't want to kill them and I don't eat them, but different people make different choices, and that's okay. It's important to learn about where our food comes from, and make choices that work for yourself and your family, and make choices that are thoughtful. Whatever you decide to do, be thoughtful and listen to what that voice inside is telling you and follow it - it's smarter than you sometimes think it is."

Pigs. Hogs. Boars. Oh my!

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