The Pigs Who Gazed Upon their Killer with Trust
When I was in college, I watched a 6-mos-old pig be slaughtered. She resisted her captors, stretching backwards, trying in vain to separate herself from the hands grasped around sensitive ears. When a shackle was attached to her rear left leg, she screamed in agony and fear as she was hoisted - fully conscious - into the air. The slaughterer electrocuted her, her form went limp, and I cannot tell you if she felt her throat being cut. Her body reacted, as all bodies would to such violence, by shivering and shaking and rejecting death as much as possible.
The slaughterhouse is a small one, never disassembling more than a hundred animals in a day. The callous disregard shown by the “processor”, the students, and the professor haunt me to this day. She wanted to live, with every single fiber of her being. Her muscles - soon to be devoured by humans - ached to be moving away from that place. Her heart - eventually tossed in an orange plastic bin - pumped furiously, trying to move her forward, backward, anywhere but on that kill floor.
I can tell you why I am reliving that nightmare (a “luxury” that beautiful pig does not have). I won’t link you to the blog, although you will most assuredly be able to find it on your own. But I want to share the story of five pigs who died today. They did not die in a large slaughterhouse, victims of industrial agriculture. They died on a small farm, as part of a made-up “adult” 4H project.
These are the five pigs.
Pigs are inquisitive, sensitive, intelligent animals. And they can bond. The individual responsible for the deaths of these five pigs recognized that, “They are always super excited to see me, even more excited when I bring treats and the most excited when I brush them and give belly rubs. They run and grunt at me when they see me.” This is not someone incapable of recognizing that nonhumans experience pleasure, physical and emotional. This is someone who has been trained, from a young age, that other animals are here for a “job” - defined by humans, for humans. In the case of these pigs, apparently their “job” was to go on a “journey” with this woman that involved friendship, bonding, care-giving, and then their own bloodletting.
Not a “job” I’d want.
When some kind-hearted folks learned of this woman’s public declaration of killing these five pigs, they left some comments discouraging the unnecessary stealing of lives. In response, the woman offered to stave off slaughter if only people would pay $5,000 for all five pigs lives.
If that does not tell you about the motivations of this person, I don’t know what will (except perhaps the photo below). When no one could either afford or justify giving money to further exploit nonhumans, compassionate people were accused of being cruel for NOT buying the pigs.
If, and it is a big if, these pigs were seen as individuals who have a value outside of dollar signs and “pork”…well, I suppose they wouldn’t be dead.
Early on, the individual caring for these pigs presumed she would be sad and crying after their unnecessary slaughter.
Instead, she posted a gratuitous photo (I cannot bring myself to share it) of her and three other smiling humans posing before the skinned body of a once-thriving pig.
This is her idea of “humane”, of “good caregiving”. (Please note: A picture of a skinned pig hung from shackles is shown below the cut).
“Becoming vegan is easy and simple and fun. It can also feel depressing and overwhelming. It can take a long time or happen instantaneously. You can make it happen. Please try. For pigs like these. For the pigs at the sanctuary.”
Since I haven’t been eating soy, I’ve felt a little deprived in the morning (no tofu scramble! no tempeh bacon!). Although it might not look like much, this hearty chickpea-based breakfast mess is filling and tastes great! Feel free to substitute with whatever veggies you have on hand.
based on this recipe
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 potato, peeled and diced
4-5 handfuls of spinach, chopped
cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chickpea flour
dash of thyme, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper & salt
dash or two of nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup almond milk
Saute garlic in olive oil
Add potatoes, cook until slightly browned
Stir in spinach + tomatoes
While potatoes cook- stir chickpea flour with spices in a bowl
Add tahini + almond milk; combine until smooth
Once spinach is slightly wilted, add flour mixture to pan
Cook as you would scrambled eggs- stirring to evenly coat veggies
OPTIONAL: Top with your favorite hot sauce
*I added extra salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and yeast to mine…yum!
I started taking ashwagandha about three months ago at the recommendation of my good friend/guru. I told her I’d been feeling low but didn’t want to be on medication; she suggested I try ashwagandha plus a multi vitamin. So I did. I’ve been taking both every day, and it has really changed my life! No joke. Here’s what the bottle says:
How Can Ashwagandha Help You?
-Acts as a rejuvenative with anti-stress and adaptogenic actions, helping the body cope with life’s daily challenges
-Supports a healthy response to stress
-Improves physical endurance and energy
Before I started taking it, I was feeling upset for no clear reason, very emotional and sensitive, and often in a bad mood. I would wake up feeling bummed almost every morning and I had weekly cry sessions. I wouldn’t have described myself as stressed, but looking back I think that was definitely part of my problem. The point is - this natural herb has helped me out of my slump, and I want to shout about it from the rooftops!
*Full disclosure- I also stopped eating soy at about the same time, which may or may not have contributed to my elevated mood/attitude adjustment. BUT my roommate just started taking ashwagandha and says it’s making her happier too. I feel confident that it has a positive effect on mood & stress management. I’ve been telling everyone I know to take it, I can’t shut up about it! Look for it at your local health store.