Disclaimer: If you are squeamish or offended by meat-eating (we used to be vegan, so I understand), please don't read the following post!
On a small farm we have to be really careful about the number of animals our land can sustainably support, and we raise some animals for meat; so this weekend we butchered one of our pigs, named Wilder. We have raised animals for meat before, but a 250+ pound pig was definitely going to test our abilities.
The killing went really smooth; Brian expertly shot her in the head and she dropped instantly. There was a lot of movement because of her nervous system, but by that time she was gone. A very brave friend of ours did a great job with the throat cutting to bleed her out. I was surprised at how emotional I felt; I even cried a little. I knew that we raised her for food and she had a great life (she was able to run around on pasture and eat good, healthy food) and a fast death. But the experience was still pretty intense. Although I feel it is important that if we eat meat we should be able to raise and kill it ourselves, I don't think I will ever be unaffected by the gravity of it.
We had three other families come out so the kids could play while the adults helped. Everyone pitched in for the hard work of killing, skinning, eviscerating and breaking down the carcass into meal sized cuts. It was a full days work and then we all shared a great potluck dinner with fresh roast pork. We sent friends home with coolers of meat and have filled a freezer for ourselves. I am going to make sausage this week which should be delicious. We will definitely think of our pig and give thanks to her every time we eat this nourishing, sustainable food.