The Death of a Pig: Warning–Graphic Pictures

I said it in the title, and I’ll say it again, because I know there are vegetarians who read this blog and I don’t want to be responsible for them seeing things that they don’t want to see. If you eat meat and you don’t want to see this, I’ll be honest with you, you are a hypocrite. You eat the meat from these animals, you should know what they go through to become your food. 

Helen shortly before her demise

Helen shortly before her demise

Helen was the name of the pig we were killing yesterday. She seemed sweet, but they had fed her a fair amount of alcohol before we sent her on her way, and don’t most girls seem sweeter with some booze in them?


Dipping the pig for de-hairing
After shooting the pig, then draining the blood for making blood sausage, Mark, above, the owner of the pig, dipped the pig in a vat of 140 degree water to get all of the hair off of the skin.


Me, scrapping the hair from the ear

Me, scrapping the hair from the ear

I helped out by scraping an ear. This was the messiest part, resulting in me being covered in singed pig hair. 

Brett, dreaming of head cheese, I'm sure Brett is dreaming of delicious head cheese here, I think.    

Cutting the jugular for blood to make blood sausage

Cutting the jugular for blood to make blood sausage

Beautiful Caul Fat

Beautiful Caul Fat


I don’t know why the formatting is so weird on this post, but it is making it really annoying to post. So the pics are out of order, though it is probably better the bloody one is at the bottom.

Basically the pig kill wasn’t all that notable. We watched as the pig was shot, then hung, bled and de haired. He was split in half, then we helped to break down the meat in to primals, then into usable cuts for various types of charcuterie.

It was a good lesson, and I’m glad I went. Anyone who eats a lot of meat should  probably be familiar with what goes on to get the food to their plates.


3 Responses

  1. One of my favorite stories in the French Laundry cookbook is the story of Keller killing the rabbits. When I was in Yangshou in China, the open market was great because you could see everything get butchered right in front of you. My grandpa used to bring me to get pigs slaughtered and then barbeque the whole thing, which was awesome because the skin was so damn good. Butchering is beautiful 🙂

  2. Great post – simple and to the point. Just checked out your blog today and will be reading in the future.

  3. Thanks for posting this (even though I know you posted it a long time ago).

    I agree that even if you can’t do the killing yourself, if you eat meat, you need to definitely be aware of the killing and what goes into preparing an animal for consumption.

    As part of our push to grow more of our own food and of course, cook local, we are also moving towards being more involved in the whole process. Even if that simply means raising backyard chickens and taking them somewhere to be slaughtered when they no longer produce eggs. Not sure we’re ready to do it ourselves, but I think we’re ready to be there when it happens.

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