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A Pig's Life

Oldie Updates | October 2017

SIR: ‘The whole hog’ by James Le Fanu (August issue) brought back vivid memories. My grandfather was a farmer, and one of the annual rituals on his farm was butchering the Christmas pig. It was a family event. We children played our part by reducing large blocks of salt to granules and then helping to drive the squealing pig from its sty to its execution. We watched enthralled as it was upended onto a sturdy trestle, its throat cut and the spurting blood collected for black pudding. Its opened belly revealed steaming organs of deep reds and purples (the intestine was cleaned for the sausage skin). We then set about salting down the hams and bacon which would be hung in the pantry. It sounds pretty brutal now, but we all seemed to take it in our stride, and vegans were unknown.  Paul Elmhirst, Stillingfleet, Yorkshire....

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