This Little Piggy...
Posted by Maura Duffy, 26th May 2009
Warning: This piece contains some gruesome detail so if your squealish stop here.
JP arrives. Time to say goodbye to This Little Piggy, poor ol sow, thought her bacon was saved by being the runt of litter but the other 2 blighters had to go and get themselves pneumonia. SO (not to repeat past mistakes) we tied a lead onto her hind leg and like a prize pig strutting her stuff for the cameras she happily wandered to the trailer, hesitated and completed her journey into the trailer with a shove from PJ (poor Little Piggy thought she was off to market).
We don our white jackets and blue hairnets and stand around waiting, God I'm nervous and guilty as hell. Wouldn’t mind if David was here, he might put a stop to all this. What would we do with little Piggy then, let her grow old and lonely, the visitors and the TV cameras gone, would I take her home and wait 10 years or maybe till she’s in her teens till I can have my longed for boots?? Meanwhile Tom is whistling 'The Boys of Fairhill', Michael is thinking about sausages, and Cian is making mental notes to save the blood and caul (pig intestine for what I can only guess).
Right guys time for the tour, like a lamb to the slaughter I follow in, much smaller than I expected, more gruesome than I thought, what did I expect - well something like an open plan office with desks and stuff people in white coats, nicely disguised killing equipment to make it pretty for people who really want to believe that this is humane and the pig is too stupid to know what's going on.
Back to the pig
I want to know how she is, so we are shown round the back, this was comforting, she seemed ok and calm enough and her 7 new friends were in the pens beside her, nothing bad here.
Back to the killing room
There is a little black metal door through which the pig comes, BUT piggy No. 1 smells a rat and refuses to walk the green mile so she is dragged screaming and squealing in and boy does she get the SHOCK of her life, then chain noose round her leg, whipped up into the air, throat slit, modest fountain of blood, nobody cares to save this poor sows blood; washed down the drain. Here comes No.2, no squeals this time, (why I wonder), the quiet is eerie except for a few flailing sounds. "Oh Jesus, close the door"; our Little Piggy is looking in at no 2 being killed. Next our turn, poor ol sow she was admirable in death, could I be so dignified?
8 dead pigs hanging on a wall
8 dead pigs hanging on a wall
Next comes that awful contraption that’s a cross between a washing machine and an oven. In goes piggy no.1, tumbled and washed and comes out looking like human flesh. What little hair was left was deftly dealt with by those fantastic Polish butchers (best in the world apparently). In her nudity her youth and likeness to human flesh was disturbing. Back onto the pulley and (the killing room nicely leads into the chopping room where a blow torch is used to give the skin a nice tanned colour. The lads are shown how to cut the spine so as not to damage the meat on either side (gives a better shape meat). I’ve had enough at this stage so go out for a breather and to say some really profound things on camera, like "perhaps I’ll become a vegetarian but what about my boots".
Time for lunch in the Crowes' house, a pile of homemade scones, proper bread and the biggest pile of cooked ham I ever saw, I feel shocking guilt but can not insult our hostess; "Ham sandwich or ham on scones?", "Both please".
We pack our bucket of blood and caul into the car.
Wee wee all the way home...I hope we don’t crash or we’ll all have blood on our hands!!