In late July, my husband and I were headed to my sister-in-law's wedding shower/BBQ/pool party, and our one contribution was to pick up and transport the roasted pig ordered by my mother-in-law. We didn't witness the roasting of the pig, however we retrieved Piggy from an Italian market already prepared as shown in the picture. I had gone to a party once before where a whole pig was served but I don't recall ever seeing the head, so this was my first experience seeing a roasted pig with its head intact. We pulled up to the Italian market in the suburbs of Philadelphia not knowing what to expect. Emotions stirred up inside me as my husband and the Italian market employee placed the pig into the back of my Subaru. I had to put the back seats down for the pig to fit. First of all, this pig was heavy weighing about 40 pounds including the weight of the board. Secondly, there was nothing covering the pig just the aluminum foil around the base of him making him totally out in the open in the back of my car. To top it all off, the pig’s mouth was stuffed with an apple or something and then little tomatoes were placed where Piggy’s eyes used to be. It was all very strange to me.
I am an animal lover through and through but I am in no way a vegetarian but do consciously try not to overindulge in meat. For some reason, the vision of this roasted pig disturbed me. I did try a bite of the pork but found it difficult to eat with the pig looking at me. How sad it is that I don’t hesitate to eat a pile of cooked bacon or scrapple (need to write about scrapple soon) at brunch, a big burger on 4th of July or ham at Easter. With the meat so removed from its origin, it is truly easy to forget how that food got to your plate. Piggy reminded me that day at the wedding shower. He reminded me what he had to go through.
I’m not saying that this event has caused me to not eat meat or take a stand against pig roasts or anything but I do think it is important to consider the conditions of which an animal is living in while on this earth. I have no way of knowing the conditions of Piggy’s life but do hope it was pleasant until the end. My goal now is to attempt to buy meat products from local farms where I know these animals are given the proper treatment and space needed to live a nice life. This can be more expensive, however, that alone will cause us to cut back on meat-eating which is ultimately better for the environment.
Since I was an attendee of the pig roast, I ended up taking home 2 large bags of shredded pork from the pig. The pig fed up to 100 people however only 30-40 people made it to the party, so everyone took home plenty of leftovers. The worst thing that could have happened would be to waste the meat having had this pig die for nothing, so we were happy to take the meat and freeze it for a later use. We ended up making Southern BBQ pulled pork sandwiches (see BBQ recipe below), and we will probably make a chili out of the remaining pork when it gets colder.
Rest in peace Piggy-you were delicious.