While we were in Seoul the kids received excited news from their cousins. They got 3 little pigs! The family had purchased them with the plan to raise them for family meat. The children would get to take care of them and better understand and learn the process of raising your own food. The cousins named the three pigs Bacon, Ham and Delicious.
By the time we arrived on the farm in Canada the [now large] pigs had been moved to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s farmhouse where we currently stay. The daily job of feeding the pigs turned over to Ronan and Zahra. Each day food scraps are collected in a bucket. After breakfast Ronan and Zahra head down the lane with the food scraps to feed to Bacon, Ham and Delicious along with wheat and yellow peas that are grown here on the farm.
It has been a great experience for the kids. Especially after living in a mega city like Seoul. The pigs run out from their little barn to the trough when they hear them coming and the kids scoop out the food and dump it in, then take a quick moment to give the big pigs a scratch on the back. The kids have already spent a lot of time in their lives on the farm and understand where our food comes from, but raising meat is a bit different. We have still taken the time to discuss the importance of the food we eat, the differences of how things are grown and raised and where it comes from. They have enjoyed this chore for the most part, and Ronan has excitedly asked to be a part of the butchering process.
Things changed a little today.
The snow has now fallen and winter is setting in. My husband informed us this morning that the pigs will probably be butchered next week. I noticed my son didn’t rush back from the pigpen. I watched as he took time to look at each pig and scratch each of them on their backs. Back at the house I asked him how he was feeling about next week as he seemed contemplative. He told me he no longer wanted to be part of the butchering process. After telling him that we are ok with whatever decision he makes we reflected that we are happy and grateful. Happy that the pigs enjoyed a good life, will be slaughtered with no pain and grateful that they will provide us with food.
I am grateful that my children could be part of this process and gain a greater appreciation, respect and a sense of responsibility for life. What other ways can you think of that will help our children to learn and better appreciate where our food comes from,what we eat, and the roles we play in that?