Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Introducing Gyoza

This dear readers is Gyoza, my pig. Ain't he just the cutest little piggy ever?! I took this picture into work today to replace my desk picture. I showed my colleagues and I got that look. Yeah you know the one. The one where they are thinking (and saying to be fair) that there is something wrong with me. As I raved over how cute he is I was met with comments like "you'll never be able to go through with it". This is of course referring to the slaughter, butchering and subsequent eating of Gyoza. Now unless I am able to sustain a pig in my garden (which I cannot) this little piggy will be going to slaughter. So I told them this and was once again greeted with that look and many mutterings of "oh I just couldn't". Like there is something wrong with me because I can.

Now forgive me for being mightily irritated by this. My piggy has a wonderful field to live in, a wallow to roll around in, grass under his trotters and sunshine on his back. He will only be treated with medicine if he is sick and then it will be homeopathic to start with only moving onto the hard stuff if needs be. He will be looked after by people who genuinely care about his welfare. Now if you asked people most of them would say that this is how they would like their food animals to live. So what is wrong with me knowing mine personally? What is wrong with me going once a week to visit him? What is wrong with me thinking my food is cute while alive and tasty when dead?

I have a healthy amount of respect for those for whom the thought of the animals they see in fields being food is too much and they become vegetarian. Heck, a few years ago I was vegetarian myself. I cannot abide cruelty to animals and it also had it's roots in my burgeoning Buddhism. However I the lure of the tasty meat was too much for me. At least I'm honest about it. Now I eat a lot less meat than I used to simply because I want my meat to have had the life described above. That costs more. So rather than buying 2 chickens for a fiver and not thinking about the life they have had I'd rather spend £10, know where is came from and not eat it so often.

I can apply this to a lot of things in my life now. Meat, chocolate, coffee, seasonal vegetables and fruit. I looked at the plums in the supermarket today and salivated. I adore plums. But in the UK they are a late summer/autumn produce (I have a sneaky feeling this is one of the reasons for my love of autumn). So I wait. And dammit the plums I gorge myself on in autumn will be worth the wait. I bought a yellow pepper on Sunday for a meal I was cooking with friends. Now this pepper had travelled so very very far and I felt really guilty for buying it. My guilt is tempered by the fact that these purchases are really rare but it was still there.

Right I've wandered away from the point somewhat. And I appear to have ranted at you, I'm sorry. What I was trying to say is her is Gyoza. There will hopefully be more pics as he grows up and then we will say goodbye to Gyoza the pig and hello Gyoza the meat.


  1. He is definitely very sweet, and I applaud you for being realistic about him, I'm afraid I'm one of those hypocrits who love their meat but don't like to connect it too closely with any animal especially one I know!! You are the realistic one!!

  2. Oou CUTE and I bet you he'll be delicious in the way that happy porkers are.
    Good for you.
    mmm... Gyoza... mmmm... Now I know what I'm doing for lunch!

  3. Very cute! And thumbs up for your philosphy about food! I totally agree with you. My husband and I have been in serious talks about getting our own cow. Since we have pastures and stables anyway for our horses it would fit right in. He was not so hot for the additional work until he had an ephiphany a few days ago. He went on a walk with our girl when visiting his sister and they came across a (non-organic!) dairy farm. The poor cows were tied on short chains and stood on blank concrete without bedding. The chain was really short that those poor animals could not even lie down! As far as we know this is allowed by German law, which is outrageous!
    He was so shocked and now feels totally guilty about drinking store-bought milk...
    Well, to have milk a cow needs a calf now and then which we would have to sell or bring to the slaughterhouse as well. I see this exactly like you - why not eat it after you have given it a good (albeit in this case probably too short) life?

    I hope everything goes well with your pig :) It looks really happy!