With our Pig Harvesting class fast approaching I have been asked a lot lately about how I am able to butcher our pigs. I don’t enjoy harvesting any of our animals. My goal is to give our animal the best life possible with only one bad day. By harvesting our animals at our Homestead they don’t have the stress of being loaded into a trailer, going on a road trip and then finally ending up at a strange location with all weird smells.
Why We Have our Modern Homestead
That being said we have our Modern Homestead so we can raise the best food possible for our family. We are carnivores and need good healthy meats and living foods in our diets. If animals are raised the way they were intended to be raised than the meat they provide us can be very healthy for our bodies. If the animals are raised the way they were intended to be raised they can also be healthy for the planet and help heal it. Do you know that an active prairie (grassland) can sequester more carbon than a forest can? The problem is we don’t manage our animals correctly so the prairies don’t.
Let’s get back on topic about harvesting our own pigs. I like bacon! And I want the best bacon the planet has to offer. So I raise my own pigs. Now I believe in God and that he had his only son die for us. Stay with me here I will get to a good point real fast. I know as a father that would be a very hard thing to do. Taking an animals life is a hard thing to do also, it doesn’t really compare but it is hard. I believe he made it this way as a reminder for us that what he has done for us. If you think about it, for us to stay alive it takes death. Without death, there couldn’t be life. And without Jesus’s death, we couldn’t have eternal life.
I hope I haven’t lost you, let me explain. In order for us to be healthy and stay alive, we need to eat living food. Food that is alive is all kinds of foods. Bread is alive, if it wasn’t it would not rot. So cheap wonder bread is not food. The cheap food that doesn’t go bad isn’t food. It is a science experiment. The cheap food that we buy that does not rot will not sustain us. Why do you think us Americans are as unhealthy as we are.
But I am a Vegetarian
Carrots, peppers, kale, all veggies are living. If you think by being a vegetarian you aren’t killing something you are wrong. If something is grown from a seed it is life. We are started from a seed. All life is a miracle. When you think about what you can grow from a tiny seed a little dirt and some water it is mind-blowing. How does that tiny tomato seed turn into a huge tomato plant and produce the huge summer bounty?
So when I say I want to raise the best food possible that is what I am talking about. I want to raise/grow food that will sustain us and our health. It takes that kind of food for us to live a happy and healthy life. Even the veggies we grow are living food. It takes soil that is alive to grow that kind of food. With that, there comes a sacrifice. One of the sacrifices is harvesting our own animals. Which is a great time to reflect and give thanks.
Stay with Me!
How do I know there is a creator? It first stood out to me when I started raising my own food. I started with a garden, chickens, turkeys, and two pigs. When I start something I jump all in by doing so I got to learn how everything is interconnected and feeds off of each other.
Feeding our Soil
When you have a garden your soil needs to be fed and putting chemical fertilizer on it does not feed it. That’s like giving a junkie his drug of choice and after a while, the soil keeps needing more and more. Do you know what feeds the soil? It takes compost or animal poo. Which is dead rotting material and bacteria. It takes life to feed your soil! The dead rotting plant material or animal poo than grows food for you and your animals. When you grow too much food or have leftovers you can give it to your animals and let them eat it and turn it back into poo, or you can add it to your compost pile and compost it. Then you get to feed your soil with it all over again starting the whole process of growing food again.
Every pound of compost will hold 4 pounds of water. That means the more compost or organic material your garden has in it the more water it will hold. The more water it will hold the more food it will produce. Which in returns means you can have more poo and more compost and then grow EVEN more FOOD! And it keeps doing this over and over again! There is a lot more and I mean a lot more symbiotic relationships like this out there than that. The more you get into homesteading and raising your own food the more your (my) eyes are opened to it. My point is that this doesn’t happen by accident or by two rocks colliding! This happens by design. In order for it to be designed there has to be a creator.
Living an Intentional Life
He created everything with a purpose and for a reason. The more intentional life I live the more my eyes are opened and the more I see. We live in a fallen world. Not everything is going to be easy. So in order for us to have the best bacon possible, we will have to raise our own pigs and give them the best life we can and let them live the life that they were created to live. By letting pigs dig in the dirt, roll in the mud, eat grass, bugs, and apples until their heart is content we are letting them do that. But they were also created to be our food. Part of respecting them is letting them become the bones of our bones and the flesh of our flesh. But we need to harvest them humanely and use what we can for this to happen.