Butchering time is always bittersweet. On one hand, it's hard to take an animal that you have fed and nurtured and deliberately take them to be killed and processed. I honestly have a hard time with this. However, I am much better able to deal with the realities now than I use to be. I came to the point where I finally began to realize just what type of life factory farmed animals must endure before they meet their end and I no longer have the desire to promote factory farming with my purchases. Knowing that we humanely raise our animals and give them a good life, along with the fact that we know exactly what our animals have consumed for food, makes raising and butchering our own meat the only choice for me at this time. I have stuck by my self imposed rule to not eat any factory farmed meat even though we eat out once a week. I made it through the Thanksgiving holiday without consuming any factory farmed meat by eating a vegetarian meal for Thanksgiving as humanely raised meat was not available at the meal we attended. (Yes, I now have the incentive to raise turkeys next year! ;-)
Was sending the hogs off to slaughter difficult? Yes, it was difficult knowing that those intelligent beings would end up being a pork meal on our table. Am I sorry I did it? No. I am very proud of the fact that we raised these hogs, giving them a good life, providing for them, so that they in turn can provide for us. I make no apologies for being a meat eater, but I can't with a good conscience consume meat from animals that have not been allowed to live their lives as close to possible to how they were intended to naturally live.
The butcher called back with the hanging weights (carcass weights) on the five hogs and they are as follows:
( Notes: The two smaller weights belong to the two purebred Red Wattles that we raised. The photo above is poor quality as it was taken at dusk with my phone. However, it give you an idea of the size and conformation of the smaller of the two purebred Red Wattles.)