Monday, 13 February 2012

R.I.P. Squiggle & Curl

Monday 13th February 2012
Sunrise over an empty pig enclosure.

Up at 4.30 this morning to drive the pigs to Gayton, the other side of Kings Lynn.
Much further to drive than our local slaughterhouse, we chose JE Howards as it is a traditional, family run butchers and abattoir. They hold the Organic licence for slaughter and cutting, which means that the pigs are dealt with sensitively and efficiently.

As we pulled in through the metal gates, it was certainly calm and sleepy. It took us a while to find anyone. We were then at leisure to reverse the trailer (if you've not tried this, trailers seem to have  a mind of their own when asked to go backwards) up to the sliding doors, where a straw covered pen was waiting to accommodate our pigs. A couple of other groups of pigs were waiting, and all seemed very tranquil. We were relieved to see that our pigs were similar in size to the others, although a bit chubbier, which would be expected with pigs from slower-growing breeds.

Sue felt a few pangs of emotion, particularly as the lights kept dimming, the electricity briefly siphoned off for a more sinister purpose. I had seen these pigs as tasty morsels from the day they were born, and had often explained to them what meat would come from which parts of their body. It also helped that these were two of the tetchiest pigs going - never even came close to tickling their tummies. Just their personalities. Always a wary glance.

True to form, the pigs would not leave the very same trailer which they had so steadfastly refused to enter the previous afternoon. A lot of coaxing was required, but all went pretty smoothly and they quickly settled into their new, very temporary home.
I was not brave enough to go through the next set of doors. I just filled in the necessary paperwork, glanced back at Squiggle and Curl for one last time (at least until I see them vacuum packed at the end of the week) and headed back to Holbeach for sunrise.

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