Listening to: ZZ Top
Tough day for the pig "farmer" tomorrow, even tougher for one of his pigs. It's slaughter time.
The biggest of the porkers will be loaded up tomorrow morning, ready for the trip that will end in him joining us (and several other Westray families) for Christmas dinner.
I've been through this once before, last June when Eric and Ernie fulfilled their destiny, and it doesn't look like getting any easier.
If anything it's harder as I've known this batch of pigs since birth. I've spent so many hours with them, I know each one of them and I've got maybe a bit too close. I have this mad urge to rush into the pigshed and give him a hug.
My hilarious friends have long been of the opinion that I'm too soft-hearted for livestock farming, but I suppose it's inevitable to feel this way when I have only a few animals on our little eight-acre croft. A proper farmer with 100-plus cattle or sheep and a lifetime's experience must find it easier to be less sentimental about his beasts.
I'm not about to go all veggie (if you have an hour or five, I'll bore you with the argument), but I'm having to convince myself that I'd rather have my Christmas dinner from a pig that I know has been well-cared for, has had warm, dry straw to sleep on every night, has been well fed and watered, has had regular back scratches and tickles behind the ears, has had plenty of room to snuffle around in and goes to slaughter in tip-top condition.