Not long ago, I killed a pig.

She was 120 pounds, organically raised, with a sweet disposition. I shot her in the head.

My new friend Peter Barrett, a photojournalist and surprisingly good butcher, documented the whole event on his blog,, in a post called “The Pig Dies at Noon.” From his eloquent writing:

Meat is food that comes at a particular cost, and though is is extremely good to eat, people should be fully cognizant of the cost/benefit ratio when they eat it. Those who really can’t deal with watching the death and dismemberment of an animal should reconsider their carnivorous status.

Moving the life and death of most food animals far out of sight of most peoples’ lives has robbed us of this much-needed perspective, and also removed certain rituals from our meals. Being mindful of the beings that we eat when we eat them has been one such casualty. This event [at Tate’s house] was a welcome attempt to redefine nose-to-tail eating upward, towards owning the whole animal and its dispatch and consumption. This kind of meal should be more common, since it’s the way humans have eaten from since we became human until very recently.”


Thanks to Peter for his excellent narrative and photos; and also to Eli Smith, who provided a second camera. If you eat pork, I highly suggest reading this fascinating account.