Adult 4-H: The Last Update

It was my last weekend with the pigs. I made the most of it.

When I get sad, I plant things. This is a "cocktail" tree. It has a peach, plum and nectarine all grafted onto one tree.

When I get sad, I plant things. This is a “cocktail” tree. It has a peach, plum and nectarine all grafted onto one tree.


My town job was very stressful last week. So much so that I stress puked at work on Wednesday. I should clarify that I love my job in town and stress myself out because I don’t want to disappoint my bosses (I used to do the same thing before, during and after I worked cattle with my Dad, but I think I have control of that now). Anyway Friday when I go home I went straight out the pig pen with a glass of wine and hung out with the piggies until I felt better.

Pigs make everything better.

Pigs make everything better.


On Saturday my Dad took me to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. After we polished off our margaritas, my Dad tried to talk to me about my feelings toward the pigs. Now my Dad is pretty much the most stoic guy I know, he tends not to get attached to anything (he’s softening up in his old age though! He has a bed kitty that he loves deeply (don’t tell him I told you that)). I really appreciated his attempt to make sure I was going to be ok when the pigs are killed. We both acknowledged that I would probably cry on Friday, but that was ok.
The pigs love being sprayed. LOVE IT.

The pigs love being sprayed. LOVE IT.

As you all know the pigs are our “adult 4-H” project. Kristen and Mahina each bought one pig, and I bought two. My friend Shannon, wanted to do adult 4-H, but she was busy with life, law school, and a job, so I told her I would just raise her pig for her, and she could be involved as much or as little as she could handle (she ended up being involved a lot, yay!). When we picked up our pigs, Jamie (our pig connection) gave us Char, who was a runt of a litter. On the ride home from picking up our pigs, Mahina, Kristen and I decided that we would “split” Char.

My Mom made my Uncle a bench to suck up so we can get more almonds.

My Mom made my Uncle a bench to suck up so we can get more almonds.

After a few months into this project, I realized my Parents were doing a lot more work for the pigs than the original “nothing” I had promised. My Dad got us a crapload of pumpkins. My Mom and Dad got feed for us, fixed fence, cooked, picked up almond pieces, and fed for us a lot during the winter when we had no daylight. They also allowed me to do this project and didn’t charge us rent or for water or anything! I planned on giving them half of my pig, but I could tell our family was going to have some major fights over the pork (we don’t share well).

After I realized how much my Parents were doing for us, and how much my Dad really wanted to eat Char, I gave my interest in Char to my Dad. It seemed like an especially good idea after Char rooted up my Dad’s cable TV cable and then to add insult to injury, my Dad tripped in the hole. I figured it’d be hard to be mad at your own pig, right?!? After my Dad got my interest in Char he promised the other girls he would hook them up with some beef in trade for Char. I think it worked out well.

The almond pieces, pigs love them!

The almond pieces, pigs love them!

Sunday my Uncle Steven came over. Steven is responsible for getting me all the organic almond pieces that we have been feeding the pigs as a part of their ration. I really noticed the pigs start to put on weight when Steven started getting us the nuts. And best of all I didn’t have to pay for them! Needless to say Steven is getting some pork from me (I want nuts again next year! I know whose butt I need to kiss). Steven couldn’t believe how big the pigs had gotten since the last time he saw them. I tried to get Steven to load up Char and take him home but he wouldn’t (Char has been a really bad pig lately, escaping and rooting and eating garden plants).

Char the bad pig was "helping" till my garden.

Char the bad pig was “helping” till my garden.

After my Uncle left my Mom pulled me aside and wanted to talk about how I would handle the pig deaths. I said I was probably going to be sad and planned on saying in the house until after they were killed, but after that, I’m going to blog about it. I’m an only child, I get attached to everything including inanimate objects. I can’t help it. But I’ve known this is what these pigs are for, and this isn’t my first time to the rodeo.

I have an illness. I buy too many plants. The deer kill them, every year, but I can't stop!

I have an illness. I buy too many plants. The deer kill them, every year, but I can’t stop!


In anticipation of having a giant pig shaped hole in my heart after next Friday, I woke my garden up. I bought some new trees and plants. I started some early garden plants in my bathroom “greenhouse”. Next weekend I’m going to see if the Intern can come over and intern help me build a fence for keeping those goddamned deer out. Soon I will build my chicken coop and order chicks, and the never-ending cycle of food production will continue.

I have to admit, I am so excited to be producing all of my own meat, eggs and if I can keep the deer away, a lot of my own veggies (and in a couple years stone fruit, pomegranates, citrus and grapes!). Stay tuned, Friday is slaughter day and you know I will be blogging the whole process.

140 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, family, food, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized

140 Responses to Adult 4-H: The Last Update

  1. Elizabeth

    Hi Megan,
    A fabulous recipe for your Muir Salt just dawned on me….
    Margaritas!
    1 oz Cointreau
    2 oz tequila (try Tres Generaciones)
    3/4 oz fresh lime or lemon juice (try Meyer lemons mixed with lime)
    2 oz light cranberry juice
    Pour over lots of ice in a Muir Salt rimmed glass
    Now I have to enter the salt contest.

    • I love you. Thank you. F’ the contest, send me your address! You win for this recipe!

    • You are betraying your friends on the deepest level. It is entirely unnecessary for you to murder and consume these living, sentient beings. They will feel so much horror, fear and pain and in their last moments they will wonder why you did this to them. This is a great atrocity and a crime against nature. Shame on you.

  2. Good luck on Friday! I know it’s going to suck for you, and it will for a while, but just think about how delicious that pork is going to be! Can’t wait to read about the process on Friday, hang in there!

  3. Anjanette

    Cocktail tree = sangria?

  4. Anita

    Megan,
    You have raised these animals to trust you- and then you will slaughter them? There is no need to eat animals. There are so many other options which are cruelty-free and way healthier. Spare them the misery. Take a stand against violence and be a real woman. Stand for what is right even if it means standing alone.

    Anita

    • Thanks for your comment Anita! I don’t think you would be surprised to learn I’m gonna disagree with you about eating animals. My very way of life depends on that. Also I did try to be a vegetarian for a while, it did not agree with my body. It’s great that we live in a world where we can have that choice!
      And the death of these pigs will be swift and painless, no cruelty involved. Actually that is WHY I opted to raise my own animals, so I could ensure they had an amazing, happy, fulfilled life, and I can safely say, they did. I take a stand against unhappy animals every day of my life, and often I do stand alone.
      I think the fact that I am able to raise, kill and prepare my own food is something to be very, very, proud of. And my hope is to share my skill with as many other women as I can, it is an incredibly powerful feeling to be self-sufficient.

      • Alicia

        Hi, Megan. You are sadly deluding yourself if you think that the death to which you are condemning your beloved pigs will be swift or painless. Your pigs will smell the blood of the pigs who have gone before them and be terrified. In all slaughterhouses, many animals are improperly stunned and are still conscious as their throats are slit and they bleed out and are dismembered. Killing and eating animals is NOT a matter of personal choice any more than killing and eating a human is a matter of personal choice – these are unethical and cruel acts. Your instincts were right when you went vegetarian – if you struggled to adjust your diet, there are a lot of great programs out there to help you make the transition, including the 21-day Kickstart program by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM.org). I encourage you to check it out. You are sad about your pigs dying b/c in your heart you know as well as I do that sending them to die a violent death is a horrific betrayal of their trust and all the joy they have brought to you as your friends. Do the right thing by these pigs and mercifully spare their lives. Then extend that compassion to all animals, who you clearly care about, and stop eating them. Good luck with your transition back to a peacful, eco-friendly vegetarian diet.

      • Then you didn’t do it correctly. If it was your parents who you have learned to eat, well, they don’t know either. Get with a Vege Nutritionist. or better yet, do your own reserch on the web. if you want ANY help PLEASE email me at jacque.veganlady@yahoo.com There is NO need to eat dead animals…it is inellegent people who do NOT. I am a student of Vegan nutrition. I can help. Animals were NOT put on earth for humans. If you’re christian, the bible says…THOU SHALL NOT KILL….that does means animals also. Hugs!

        • Actually Jacque- When he talks about thou shalt not kill. That is actually one of the ten commandments. The literal text of it is thou shall not murder. And he is talking about people here, nowhere does it say it is a sin to kill animals for food. In fact, the Bible talks many times about eating animals as food.

          The verse that you quote above, you forgot to finish it.. Genesis 1:29-31 says: “And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.”

          In Genesis 9:3-4 it says “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.” Basically meaning, you must kill the animals and remove their blood before eating them.

          Leviticus 11 actually in detail describes and spells out what animals are considered clean/unclean for the original people of Israel which are of Jewish descent.

          1 Timothy 4: 1-5 says: “4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For every creature of God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

          And in Romans 14:1-5 he uses the metaphor of eating meat and vegetables to describe someone who is weak in the faith, “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to dispute over doubtful things. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand”

  5. normal

    To be able to slaughter an animal(s) that you raised and cared for, is sociopthic…. Sociopaths are unaware that their internal compass(es) dont work like most normal humans. I feel sorry for you and everyone in your life.
    Be well.

    • Mason

      So, are you saying that the world is full of billions of sociopaths? If that is true even, wouldn’t it then be normal to be a sociopath? The author may want to be nice on her own blog, but you loons need to get a life.

  6. Monica

    How very sad to earn those pigs’ trust, then just kill them so you can eat meat.

  7. Anita

    Swift and painless…I am sure the pigs would disagree. Please take a video of your ‘no cruelty involved’ technique of slaughter- with you actually doing it. And the cameraman has to get some footage of your face as you are ending their lives.
    Hopefully someday you will have a change of heart. There are enough options in veganism for everyone, with any food allergy or intolerance. Killing animals that have learned to trust you is nothing to be proud of.

    Anita

  8. I’m pretty proud! And the video is a great idea! I’ll try and do that tomorrow! In the meantime feel free to check out the slaughter of my beefs http://thebeefjar.com/2011/07/13/wordless-wednesday-a-beef-harvest-2/

  9. cindy landon

    It breaks my heart to think they will be slaughtered.. I don’t know how you can do it.. They are highly intelligent and would people slaughter their dogs!! I became a vegetarian as a young girl because I know all animals have feelings and to end a life so it can end up on our dinner table for 5 minutes of pleasure… Look into the eyes of your pig and tell me then you are ok with it

  10. Megan, I applaud your courage for taking on this project and seeing it to its fruition. As a kid who grew up with bovine 4-H and FFA projects that we routinely returned to our own larder after the county fair, I know very well what it’s like to spend – in the case of a market steer – more than a year with an animal, often for several hours per day, and then consume that animal for my sustenance.

    The basic disagreement between folks like us and with those who have commented above is on the basic role of animals in our society. I am one who ascribes to the belief that God created the beasts of the Earth and put them under the dominion of man for his use and enjoyment, for did not God say in Genesis 9:3, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”

    Because I believe God has given man stewardship over these creatures, and all the earth, I believe you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do: treat animals well, give them a dignified end of life, and put them to their intended use – your sustenance, and the sustaining of others’ lives.

  11. nic

    so you have no problem murdering beings who trust you, like a parental figure? who are smarter then many humans? this begs the question for me would you be cool killing a 3 year old child then? All you have stated shows a complete lack of empathy, sort of like a sociopath. I actually feel you would have no problem skinning a human. My heart breaks because you murder loving caring beings with no thought or care whatsoever, you are sad and pathetic then. I was going to beg for their lives offer to help you get them to sanctuary, etc. now i see you love the power, the thrill, the bloodshed of others. if you cared at all you would not kill them.

  12. My greatest heroes are the ones who stopped hurting others even when it meant standing up against their culture, their legacy, and sometimes even their family. That takes real courage. You don’t want to kill your pigs, because they don’t deserve to die. So don’t.

    • No, I do want to kill my pigs because that is their purpose and I love pork. I will miss them. But I will enjoy their sacrifice for at least a year to come, and thank them every time I eat them.

      • I do understand. I love pork, too. But because something is pleasurable, doesn’t mean it’s ethical to do it. I am not sure what “purpose” means to you but it seems morally irrelevant to me that you happened to facilitate their parents’ mating, or bought them, or whatnot. If anything, it increases your obligations to them, not decreases them.

        As for thanking them, don’t bother. They’re dead.

  13. I’m not a vegan, I don’t even come close, however I can understand those that don’t want to see animals slaughtered, I get it, I even understand it. Like many people out there, I have also seen animal rights video’s of animals in pain, being badly slaughtered and I’ve been horrified by what I saw.

    I’ve also seen your previous slaughter posts and have appreciated how you handled it. It was respectful, to the point and didn’t try to hide anything from consumers like myself.

    I am a meat eater and lets face the facts, people have been eating meat as soon as they figured out what their mouths were for. Even animals eat other animals given the choice (and yet we don’t protest them!).

    I have more respect for the person who can raise their own animals, feed them, clean them, care for them, than I will for the person who just forks over money to buy the packet off the shelf!

    “You have raised these animals to trust you”. Yes you have, you’ve shown them care, you’ve helped them when they were sick, you looked after them and dedicated your time to them. You’ve shown that people who raise animals, really do care about their well being. You’ve shown a side to farming that some people don’t seem to want to acknowledge. The Caring Farmer!

    I thank you for sharing this journey with me and for showing me how you run your farm and raise your animals. I know their slaughter will be hard on you, but you’ve shown that you’re an independent, self sufficient, real woman that does what needs to be done.

    For that, I respect what you do.

    • nic

      um she dedicated time to killing them, and no your mouth only knew your mothers breast for food. and as a child (unless you were a sociopath) if given an apple or a lamb and told to eat one, your choice would be clear. unless your mind is free of societal brainwashing, you can not see clearly. they are not respected because they are murdered. this is all about the human, we are trying to make it about the pigs.

      • Um… thank you for bringing up my mother’s breasts, you obviously don’t have any problems. As for being given a choice between an apple and a lamb….. Obviously the apple! Well done! Unless the lamb has already been slaughtered, processed and cooked, in which case, I’m going to choose the lamb because it’s so damn tasty! (I’d use the apple for a side salad). If you take the example of “Feral Children” http://listverse.com/2008/03/07/10-modern-cases-of-feral-children/ you can see they did indeed know “breasts” for milk, but after that, they immediately turned to raw meat, birds, frogs and eating living animals (and I bet they weren’t kind enough to slaughter them in a humane way first). Aren’t you making the argument in order to get me to conform to your way of thinking, to abandon my natural instinct for meat and switch to switch to an vegetable or fruit only diet? Isn’t that actually brainwashing? To make it the “norm” in the prevalent world would be a prime example of societal brainwashing. Frankly I’m fine just going with natural human instinct.

      • I would wager that there is more fruit thrown away (wasted) from school lunches every day than there is meat.
        I’m guessing that you don’t have any children. Most people that do have had to stop their child from trying to bite the dog or the cat or the goldfish or the lamb or the goat.

      • I take it you’re also Vegan?

    • Shannon

      Very well said “Irish Male”. I have had the pleasure of helping Megan feed and care for the pigs on a number of occasions. It has been a wonderful and eye-opening experience for me. I’m glad she allowed this city girl and my two year old daughter, to learn that food doesn’t start with plastic wrap at the grocery store.

  14. We process everything that goes into our freezer, Cattle and sheep are raised here at the farm and sent to a local USDA processing plant so we can resale to the public. We treat our cattle and sheep with the most respect and know at the end of the day even though they might become “pets” they are still bound for the dinner table. What you are doing is great and I follow and applaude you in your effort to teach others!

  15. Hey to all you that care so much, and want to save my pigs – put your money where your mouth is. I’ll gladly sell them to you. You can care for them and love on them (and they will get huge! So make sure you have lots of extra income to feed them and care for them!) $1000 a hog……

  16. Sophia

    The mental and emotional dissonance here is no less because youve convinced yourself that a DIY approach to senseless killing is more respectable. You do live in a world in which you can choose, and you choose to use other creatures like they are commodities instead of beings who live for ther own reasons, and have the right to their own lives. You can can say being veg didnt agree with your body, but a. I doubt you did it right and b. your current methods do not agree with the bodies you consume, which, contrary to what you seem to believe, are just as morally entitled to life as yours. Tradition and culture, your daddy’s approval, and short-sighted philosophies, are superficial and simple minded things to hide behind. Evolve. Unfortunately this is not a case of live and let live. If it was, feeling thinking creatures wouldnt be exploited for their bodies by people like this deluded woman.

  17. Thank you for taking us all on this journey with you. I have utmost respect for you and farmers like you. I welcome other’s right to choose their own diet. Not so much those that condemn another’s while spewing ignorance about the whole process. If anyone has honest questions about slaughter and processing, I’d be happy to share my experiences with them. We respect the livestock. Murderers, serial killers, and sociopaths we are not.

    • Well said, Amy. The right to choose not to eat meat is important, but it is inappropriate and morally ignorant to equate the slaughter process to murder, and to put animals on the same philosophical plane as humans.

      • Sophia

        What do you mean by philosophical plane, andy?

        • I mean that animals are not people and people are not animals. The anthropomorphism exhibited in several of the comments above indicates that for many commenters, animals are greater than or equal to people. I agree that all animals should be well cared for, as it appears Megan has done with her pigs, but I do not think a rat is a pig is a boy, as the saying goes.

          The appropriate role of animals in our society includes serving as a food source for mankind. Obviously some here do not agree, and that is the point of contention. Those who ascribe to that worldview will not change their views, most likely, but my Judeo-Christian upbringing and mores tells me that the animals I raise for food should be treated with care, and also that it would be sinful not to eat the meaty bounty they provide upon their death.

      • Amen, Andy. That’s is what is at the crux of this issue- animals are not humans and to anthropomorphize them is dishonest to the animal as well as disrespectful.

  18. Amazing… people immediately stop caring about the animal rights, how horrific it is to kill them and eat them, when they are presented with the opportunity to save them by buying them and looking after the pigs themselves. Megan put a price on life, they are the one’s who choose not to pay it. They choose not to save those animals.

    “Hypocritical – professing feelings or virtues one does not have”

    • Sophia

      It was my disgust with her proposal that kept me quiet, not an unwillingness to take action.

      • Pigs are going to be slaughtered for meat. You now have the opportunity to save their life. But because you are “disgusted”, you are willing to let them die? Let’s quote “Nic” above and use an argument he had no problem bringing up.

        “this begs the question for me would you be cool killing a 3 year old child then?”

        If Megan was slaughtering 3 year old’s and offered to sell you them for $1000 to stop them from being slaughtered. Would you pay? Or would you be willing to let them die based on your feelings?

        Of course you’d pay the money, heck, you’d probably be selling everything you could to raise it. No one would let a child die. It’s even an immoral question I admit (frankly I’m disturbed that “Nic” would even say such a thing).

        Point being, we do put values on life. Right now we consider a 3 year old child to be far more important than an animal’s life. And right now, having $1000 in your pocket and having your feelings intact is far more important than saving a pigs life.

        So right now, because of your “disgusted” feeling, you are unwilling to take action. So their death is also on your hands, you were after all, given a chance to save them.

        Don’t worry though, I’m sure Megan’s offer was open to everyone, and as a result, their death is on my hands too. Only thing is, I can live with it because I’m a meat eater, and I respect how Megan has raised and cared for these animals.

      • Sophia, why is that disgusting to you? For those who are incensed that Megan should slaughter the animals she has raised for the purpose of food, she has provided another option. She has invested a considerable amount of time and money in raising these food animals – is it not reasonable for her to expect some remuneration in order to forgo the meat they will provide? She will, after all, have to purchase the food they otherwise would have provided if she were to avert her present plans to have them processed…

    • nic

      haha are you kidding? sanctuaries do not pay to save lives, that perpetuates the issue, sociopath will then go and purchase more animals to murder duh. no ignorant i am disgusted with all who think this is ok.

      • Alicia

        You cannot place a monetary value on a pig’s life any more than you can place a monetary value on a child’s life or on Megan’s life. Animal advocates do not pay ransoms for animals’ lives for the same reason the U.S. government does not negotiate with terrorists. Paying Megan for these pigs would have given her further financial incentive to breed and raise pigs, then violently take their lives or threaten to do so. Megan needs to learn to make ethical decisions because they are ethical, not because someone offers to pay her to do what she knows is right.

        • People can and do put monetary values on pigs, cows, chickens, goats, etc etc. Again, I am an 6th generation rancher, that is how we make our living. And according to my life insurance policy, I too, have a value on my life.
          I wasn’t asking anyone to buy my hogs. I want to eat them. I worked very hard on them. I figured since so many vegans were so upset, so upset that they felt it ok to bully and threaten a blog named the BEEF jar, about a ranch that is ethical and transparent, that they would practice what they preached. Actions speak volumes (as does lack of action, ahem).
          I didn’t ask you to comment, if you don’t like what you see here, leave. Thank you and have a lovely evening.

  19. linzo

    Your actions totally disgust me!!!

    • Your lack of action disgust us all. Megan has offered to sell her pigs for $1000 each. Not one of you people concerned about the life of those pigs have taken her up on her offer. She put a price on life, and you decided it wasn’t worth paying. She gave a chance for their lives to be spared, and you decided not to do so. That is truly disgusting.

    • Why? You don’t know me. You don’t know how I feel. I think my actions are pretty awesome. I provided education and knowledge to women that wanted it. I provided the best life possible to my pigs, and now I will provide a healthy and delicious product to my family and friends.

  20. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. I am very curious to hear how the meat taste especially with the unique diet you have been providing. I think you are a very responsible farmer.

  21. Megan- I have really enjoyed watching this whole pig process. I am extremely proud of you in the fact that you put your mind to something and got it done. But also that you were able to share the experience with people who don’t have the opportunity to raise animals in their backyards. You gave the best gift to them you could, even without the end result being pork! You gave them the first hand experience what it takes to care, feed, and raise an animal for food. And in the end, they know exactly where that pork chop came from, that is huge! I absolutely love your idea of adult 4-H and I look forward to seeing it flourish.

    My father will be the one doing the slaughter process. It’s his livelihood. We ate as children solely because my dad works so hard every day to provide those who choose to do so, their meat. Our business isn’t a 9-5 and go home business. It’s sometimes a seven day a week, ten to twelve hour day job. It’s his passion and he works hard to provide for his family in doing so. And I’m sorry if you can’t believe that a man who “kills innocent farm animals for a living” isn’t one of the most kind and loving people, you’ve never met my Dad. He loves animals, he adores our pets, and he was always the one out there scratching our 4-H steer when we were kids. He cares about the job he does and gives respect to the animals in doing so. He’s efficient, clean, and humane as Megan has shown before in her blog posts.

    I, too, believe in choice when it comes to the food I eat. Just as I don’t force meat onto other people, I expect people to do the same for me. And just as I don’t run around calling vegan and vegetarians, sociopaths or murders of plants, I expect other people to do the same for me. There is really no need in name calling because someone doesn’t see eye to eye with your own beliefs. We are all people here, let’s be respectful to one another. And if you’re really interesting in meat production, talk to someone who is actually involved in the process. I’d be willing to answer any and all questions.

    • Thank you Jenny! I’m so happy your Dad and family are involved with this process. You provide such a service to this community and people like my family. Thank you!

  22. You can always tell a vegan, you just can’t tell them much.

    • I hope you are joking but just have to be sure it’s clear. I know some vegans who are able to talk about all of this clearly, articulately and in a way that supports my ability to make different choices for myself. As an omnivore I respect their choices too. Granted some of the people commenting on here don’t take that path but not all vegans are the same any more than any other group.

  23. It is ironic to me that, in one breath, those against meat eating justify their reasoning behind forcing their beliefs down the throats of others by touting the secrecy of farmers and processors. How they are trying to hide all those unseen “horrors”, the evilness of these so called factory farms, lack of transparency and compassion from the whole livestock chain. Yet here. Here we have a farmer who has opened up her farm, her feelings, her intimate self to the outside world. Letting it all show and all these people can do is attack her personally by calling her a deluded, uncaring, toddler killing, sociopathic murderer. Fascinating. Which do you want? Transparency, open doors, and compassionate farmers (like Ms Meg here) or just rid the world of all the meat eaters?

  24. Sophia

    Say someone shouted to a crowd, “hey! Im going to set this (still occupied) building on fire – unless you pay me not to. Any takers? No? Wow, you are such hypocrites!” Animal activists work tirelessly to clean up the messes of others – whether by adopting their abandoned dogs and cats, volunteerig at sanctuaries, or far more easily, being vegan in the first place. Megan’s unfortunate wards are among literally billions facing the same fate every year. When you see a homeless person and you give them some change, or not, don’t immediately drop everything to help them regain their lives it isn’t because you don’t care; it is because you know that dealing with the the larger systemic issues will have farther-reaching and longer-lasting benefits. They may not be posting but people who understand the situation, which could easily be compared to one of hostages being held, are seeing wht they can do. Sadly there may not be enough time and money to meet megan’s demands to “save her pigs”.

    I hear a comparison of the pigs to a child in one post and that they are morally unequal in another.

    And no one knows better than an ethical vegan that the blood of billions of animals are on all of our hands. We just actually try to do something about it.

    Who cares what she raised them for? Do you think the pigs do? Say you were raised to be a soldier, or work in mines as a child – would that make it right?

    • Say someone shouted to a crowd, “hey! Im going to set this (still occupied) building on fire – unless you pay me not to. Any takers?
      **Um of course I’d pay money to stop the person setting the building on fire! If I didn’t, I’d be guilty of aiding an abetting arson and murder (although since there’s no direct target, I think it’s more of a manslaughter charge). However, after I pay the person and they leave, I would then make sure the proper authorities were contacted, the guy was caught and I get my money back!

      Wow, you are such hypocrites!”
      **Says the woman who WONT pay to save the animals because their lives aren’t worth money.

      When you see a homeless person and you give them some change, or not, don’t immediately drop everything to help them regain their lives it isn’t because you don’t care; it is because you know that dealing with the the larger systemic issues will have farther-reaching and longer-lasting benefits.
      **Actually no, most homeless people I see around the place are
      A: Crazy, I don’t want to approach them and get stabbed or bitten.
      B: Addicts, and I’d only be feeding their addiction.
      C: I actually don’t have the financial resources to drop everything and feed them, help them, educated them, set them up in a job.
      I would never ever EVER say “I’m not giving you money because it a systemic issue.
      That would take a special level of ignorance!.

      Sadly there may not be enough time and money to meet megan’s demands to “save her pigs”.
      **Do you own your own house? Do you own a car? Do you have any savings in your bank account? Do you own any jewelary? Do you own an i-pad, i-phone? Do you have a TV? Are you typing this on a laptop or a pc? You could easily go to any pawn store, walk away with the cash you need, contact Megan, tell her “Sorry, I can’t get there within the next 24 hours, but if I pay you, can you hold the pigs for me?” I’m guessing Megan would be more than willing to help you out in this matter. Have you tried any of the above? Did you even make the effort? No! Saying strong words from the safety of a pc while claiming you are powerless to change anything is very brave!

      I hear a comparison of the pigs to a child in one post and that they are morally unequal in another.
      ** Unequal TO another.

      And no one knows better than an ethical vegan…
      **WOW! Now that’s an ego! So far, this is the most impressive thing you’ve said, seriously, I’m impressed you’d make that claim.

      We just actually try to do something about it.
      **But you haven’t done anything about it……… you’ve just wasted everyone’s time with a hypocritical display of emotion, yet haven’t taken a single action. I’ve even helped you out by showing you above how to raise the money you need. Which (if any) of the above, have you done? you want to claim it’s a systemic problem? Have you asked Megan “What would it take for you NOT to raise animals for slaughter”. My guess is you haven’t, you’ve just assumed you’d be wasting your time (and even I’ll assume you’re right), but damnit, did you even try?

      Who cares what she raised them for?
      **I do, I mean, if she raised them to target practise with a BB Gun, I’d be horrified and disgusted. I think WHY she raised them is very important!

      Do you think the pigs do?
      **Nope, I really don’t think the pigs care, I think they just want their next meal!

      Say you were raised to be a soldier, or work in mines as a child – would that make it right?
      **Would that make what right?

    • “No one knows better than an ethical vegan that the blood of billions of animals are on all of our hands” How do you know that? Have you been into a modern slaughterhouse? A custom exempt slaughter? Have you raised animals? Have you literally had blood on your hands? I have. And I am making animals lives better – by running a ranch and raising these animals. I think THAT is actually doing something about it. Probably a lot more than personally attacking a transparent blogger.

  25. Sophia

    And i can absolutely believe that someone who kills animals can also be kind to them. Totally. And i understand that the ritual of keeping killing and consuming animals is integral to the way many of us are raised. What i’m saying is that now that it is no longer necessary in any way (im speaking for those living in developed countries like the US), there isnt a moral justification for it.

    • Sophia- why is it no longer justified? There are plenty of studies that I’ve read as well as people involved in nutrition that suggest that animal based proteins are essential to our health, especially if we are rigorously exercising. In fact, many lifestyles now (like the Paleo one) believe that going back to the way we used to eat is most beneficial to our health. Lots of lean protein, no processed grains, vegetables, legumes, etc.

      But on a completely different note, meat is my family SOLE livelihood. My dad has owned a butcher shop and deli for 45+ years. It’s what he knows, it’s how he feeds our family and provided for us. He employs 10 people (not including my mom, myself for some time, and my brother), we constantly give to our community whether it be money for fundraisers or scholarships, we even donate meat to our local homeless shelter. Our business doesn’t just directly affect my family and I, it affects our entire community and you’re saying just because it’s no longer justified to eat meat that my dad should shut down his business, let his employees go, and find another career…? Pardon me if I am coming across rather strongly but I find that very hard to swallow.

  26. Megan, I am sure tomorrow evening will be different around the ranch… No need to slop food to the pen, etc. but I love that you are being so open and transparent about this whole process. Since a few folks have asked about the slaughter facility and drawn some really ugly photos of how it works, I hope you have a chance to share that with us in a future blog post. I recently watched a video on the process and was impressed by the number of steps taken there to make it quick and painless. I hope the facility you use is equally well-prepared.

  27. Thank you for sharing this and I am impressed by the way you have been handling the criticism.I am also a farm girl who likes to raise her own food (from beef to eggs to veggies) Too many farmers avoid sharing their stories or become too defensive in cases like this because they are so passionate about what they do.

  28. Pinkie

    OMG if you puke stress at work you are SO not

    • Thank you for your concern! Unfortunately my anxiety is not tied to my diet, it was actually much worse when I was a veggie, oddly enough. I wish mental illness and anxiety could be treated by eating meat or not eating meat. It would make everything so much easier for those of us that are living with disorders or illnesses. For your information I am seeing a mental health professional and now my anxiety is so much better. Case in point, after a day of being trolled by some not very nice vegans, calling me awful names, I am still bouncy and happy and getting ready to sit down to a family meal with my Parents. Again, if you have questions about my ranch please ask. But please respect my lifestyle choices, just as I respect yours. Thank you.

  29. nic

    utter cognitive dissonance. yes we should pay so you can go buy more, grow some empathy and let them live or be a sociopath and murder the ones you raised from children. it is so sad the the ones being murdered are so sweet and kind and intelligent and the murderer is heartless and evil.

    • Ok, again, they are not children. They are pigs. I think comparing pigs to children is not appropriate, to the pigs. And please read my policies page, if you continue to call me names I will block you. This is your warning. All I ask is you respect my life choices, just as I respect yours. Thank you.

      • Alicia

        Killing animals is not a matter of personal choice, any more than murdering humans is a matter of personal choice.

        • Actually it IS a personal choice. Both are. Murderers make a choice to kill. However comparing a death of a human to the death of an animal, are well, two different animals.

  30. Great job caring for and making sure these pigs had the absolute best as you raised them – it was fun to watch your genuine glee as you concocted goodies for them 🙂 I wish those who think you shouldn’t slaughter them would understand that someone who takes animal husbandry as seriously as you do would certainly make sure that the slaughter process will be humane.
    I know you’ll enjoy them for months to come!

    • j. debrincat

      When youre ready to humanely slaughter a child you raised or your dog, let us all know.
      Would you be appreciative if someone took your murder seriously and did it humanely?

      • “Would you be appreciative if someone took your murder seriously and did it humanely?” Is that a threat? Reminder – I have your e-mail and IP address. Threats against my life is not acceptable and I will not hesitate you contact the authorities.

      • Personally I would appreciate it if someone murdered me humanely. I’m assuming most murders are pretty gruesome and would be rather painful. So if I had to be murdered…then humanely is the way to go. Though I would be pretty pissed if my dead body was just left to be wasted.

        When I die, my family has strict instructions to donate every piece of me down to my skeleton so people can learn from me…even after death. That way I won’t be wasted and just tossed into some hole taking up space.

        Just like Megan is doing with her pigs. They have educated people in life and they will educate people in death. They have brought pleasure to many while alive and they will bring pleasure to me on my table for months and months to come.

  31. Wonderful comments. it’s true. She loves these beings, and then sends them off to die. What a hateful, evil, blight on the planet. ALL for nothing.. as no humans need make themselves a graveyard or resting place for dead animals. Atrocity is right.

  32. j. debrincat

    Not once have you mentioned the feelings of the pigs being murdered. It’s disgusting hearing you go on and on about yours. Who cares if you are sad? You could choose not to kill anyone.
    Reading about your feelings is as spine chilling as ir would be to read Jeffrey Dahmer’s feelings right before he killed.

    • I’ve found reading her thoughts quite interesting. Considering that a lot of people seem to think farmers and ranchers are completely cold and unfeeling. Her blog, as well as many other farmers and ranchers show that to be untrue.

  33. Pigs will eat you if you don’t keep them well fed.
    I don’t think they ever trust you, if they did they wouldn’t turn to watch your every move when you are around.

  34. I saw your blog posted on a vegan fb page (vegan recipes galore) calling for people to come harass you and i quickly unliked the page.

    I commend you for raising animals the right way and I cant even imagine how delicious it was. People have been raising animals and eating animals for thousands of years.

    Thankfully as humans we have the choice to eat or not to eat mean but apparently self righteous vegans seem to think its their job to harass people about it.

    Grow up people. seriously.

    Great job on this post and your animals,

  35. Kim

    I just don’t understand how you can accept the comfort and joy that these animals give. How can you possilby love or “have a pig shaped hole” in your heart for something that you view only as your property and food? Oh well! On to the next slaughter project for you! Enjoy betraying the love that has been given to you by another life.

  36. A Raw Feeder & Eater

    Knowing what goes on in factory farms and the horrible conditions the animals suffer through and how horrible some of the abattoirs are at humanely dispatching I’m happy to see small, homestead farms coming back. I actually don’t eat very much meat myself and that is mostly because I feed my animals a species appropriate diet and nearly all of my meat budget goes to buying meat for the carnivores in my house. I buy from smaller ranches and farms because I want to know that the animals were as comfortable as they could be during their life.

  37. Courtney

    Im sorry Megan that you are getting harrassed by all these people due to this link being put on Facebook.
    If people put all there passion into something else like thier jobs or life they might go further instead of harrasing a girl they dont know… what JERKS..
    let me just add that i am a MEAT eater, I have a VEGAN boyfriend…. we can all get along JUST FINE…
    EVERYONE NEEDS TO STOP HARASSING THIS GIRL THAT YOU DONT KNOW..

  38. Crystal

    Kudos to you. I choose a vegan lifestyle but that is my choice and you are free to make your choice as well. I also applaud you for empowering yourself and teaching your girls to self-sustain. Haters will hate…but just between me and you…they have K9s in their mouths too. Push on girl!

  39. I think you are awesome Megan, and I commend you on your ability to keep your cool with so many people determined to attack you simply because you choose not to live the same lifestyle. Your little farm looks great, good for you for giving your family the very best! You should be very proud 🙂

  40. So how did we all feel about that lion who just ate that girl? Pretty bad for her family and friends, huh? The lion had no compassion—-some people have no compassion either. Sad life. If you can’t give up killing animals because you think that’s what you MUST have to survive, then how about watching FORKS OVER KNIVES (on Hulu.com it’s free) It’s about health…..if you want eat meat because you want to live then you should want to live healthy…..

  41. Erin

    Megan I am very proud to stand with you on being able to raise your own livestock feed them care for them and then use them for what they are for FOOD!!! Like you I have always done this and still do. My animals are always well taken care of maybe even better taken care of then myself and it makes me mad that people are so mean to people who choose to live like this. Everyone has thier own opinion and we are not all ever going to agree. But your project kicked butt and turned out a great product for human consupmtion. Hope you have a great next project. 🙂

  42. Farmer Pat

    Megan, I too support your process. It is nature and natural. So many so called “liberals” are so filled with hate and intolerance. It amazes me! Keep on truckin!

    • I really don’t agree that this has anything to do with “liberals” vs. “conservatives.” I’m a proud Liberal Obama supporter and I agvocate and eat meat just as well as anyone else.

  43. Megan

    Farming, ranching, and raising livestock takes a special breed of person; not everyone can do it.
    But, how convenient is it that we live in a society where we can choose?!?!
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, just because someone doesn’t agree doesn’t make it right/wrong, just different.
    After reading through a lot of the horribly nasty and inappropriate posts on here I’m reminded of this little saying:

    Opinions are like a penis…… It’s fine to have one and it’s fine to be proud of it. But please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around. And please don’t try to shove it down my throat.

    The end.

  44. Farmboy961

    Thanks for sharing this journey with us. I applauded your honest openness.

  45. Emily

    Megan,
    You are awesome. That’s all I have to say, you are awesome. I’ve been showing my (vegetarian) mother what you’ve been doing and she thinks its very cool that you are doing this and posting on your blog. Ignore all the *insert bad word here that I’m not gonna type* who seem to be living in a shell and believe our meat comes from the store. I got a lot of crap from people, even some of my family members, about raising a sheep for the Silver Dollar Fair in May where I will show and sell him. I am a big time animal lover and they were in disbelief when I told them about my fair animal. But I’m proud, because I’m taking care of animal that is raised for our consumption and feeding people. From the amazing Temple Grandin; “Of course they’re gonna get slaughtered. You think we’d have cattle if people didn’t eat ’em everyday? They’d just be funny-lookin’ animals in zoos. But we raise them for us” Keep on doing what your doing Megan!

    Emily

  46. Johnny

    Eating those pigs you’ve been raising is no different than eating a dog you’ve raised as well. They’re intelligent animals who trust you and look up to you like a mother and quite frankly it’s really weird that you could actually eat them. Do you have feelings?

    • Karen Bro (@madabip)

      Seriously, that’s your argument? She hasn’t killed her dog. And the premise that he pigs look at Meg as a mother, is absurd. Do the carrots and broccoli you raise look at you as a mother? If you believe that, how can you eat them? You only have to dig into Meg’s blog to understand she is an exceptional person. Feelings? You bet. And even better, Meg has compassion … For people *and* animals.

  47. Kaytee Taylor

    Hi Meg,

    I heard about this entry through my facebook feed. Please, don’t let these crazy people bother you. I may be a vegetarian for ethical reasons, but those are my ethics, not yours. I certainly do not endorse the actions of these self-proclaimed vegans. I think their bullying tactics are cruel and cowardly, please do not think all vegetarians/vegans are as crazy as those who have posted such hateful and ugly things on your blog.

    I have a great respect for you because of your transparency about raising and slaughtering your own animals. I think that if people are to eat meat they should have a relationship with the animals before they are slaughtered, even if indirectly, as I feel that inspires respect for the animal and its life. If people are to still eat meat in the future (which is a certainty), I hope that the majority of meat products come from small farms like yours.

    Sincerely,
    a CSU, Chico Alumni ’10

  48. Anjanette

    I just read ALL the posts..1) hurrah for Adult 4-H, cool when it I first read about it EPIC now!! 2) kudos to everyone who responded intelligently (- me) 3) long live beefjar.com sharing ranching/AG life with those who are truly interested and come with an open mind…Thank you Megan & company (aka mom & dad & friends)

  49. Tim

    Pretty interesting discussion in these comments. Not productive but interesting. Animals deserve love, care and respect and Meg provided that for her piggies. Good job raising up those pigs they look healthy and happy. Something I don’t think is understood by the people opposing them being slaughtered is that pigs are no less willing to eat people than people are them. Isn’t it wonderful to live in a country where scarcity of food and, well, most anything else is just an abstract notion to a majority of people? I doubt there’d be much question about eating those pigs if you all went hungry for a few meals. Getting back to my point what you all are arguing is that there is some sort of betrayal on the part of Meg as though she has been tricking the pigs about why she is being nice to them and giving them a good life with food and shelter. The pigs neither know not care why she was caring for them and can’t be betrayed as they have no expectations beyond a pail of slop and hose shower. If you want to eat only vegetables that’s fine and I applaud your resolve but equating slaughter and consumption of animals raised for food to murder is incorrect.

  50. debi

    If you LOVE the piggies, DONT kill them!!! They bring you far more joy alive from what I am reading. Hoping you can just enjoy them for longer. 🙂

  51. the only benefit we get from eating meat is a disease filled body – a life filled with pills and doctors – we have been blessed with bodies that dont require us to harm other living beings – all i can say is shame on you for being so uneducated – so filled with selfish greed –

  52. RTM

    All of you should watch Charlotte’s Web

    • We named the runt Char – just because of that movie! Don’t anthropomorphize animals. It’s not fair to them.

      • Keith

        Oh yes it is. It’s completely fair to the animals. Do you not like it because it makes you feel guilty? Is it uncomfortable to think that animals may hmmm… may possibly have souls? God forbid they might have souls like humans! Could it be possible? Interesting concept. In the meantime, choosing to eat animals is your choice, and you are making a conscious choice to exist in our nation’s health care system. And that is not a pleasant place to be. Eventually the animal eaters will die out, they are the unhealthy ones- the ones that get diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Sorry, but true. We could very logically have two human species evolving, compassionate vegans and unhealthy disease ridden animal eaters.

      • Karma

        Anthropomorphy is a man made concept, and as such, negates itself.

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  55. Raya

    You’re a really, really bad person. Those poor animals trusted you. Hag.

    • Actually they tried to eat me anytime I let my guard down. But thank you for you opinion about hogs and a person you’ve never met!

      • Heather

        Hi Megan from Canada! I’m sorry your being attacked like this. I don’t understand is why the anger isn’t directed at all the factory farms that really torture animals. It seems to me your pigs had a wonderful life full of love, yummy food and attention. Something factory farmed animals don’t get a minute of. Unfortunately people are not going to stop consuming animals so if people are going to consume meat wouldn’t it be great if the animals all had this kind of life? My husband, myself and our three kids happen to be vegan. I raise my kids this way and that’s my right, i love living in a world where i have that choice. what I don’t raise my kids to do is send hatred into the world, name call, push their beliefs or delude themselves in thinking they are superior just because they don’t eat or consume animal products because when you act like this you get the opposite results your looking for. It is my opinion, that I don’t agree animals were put here for our use and it feel for the pigs that had to die but going on peoples blogs and yelling at spewing hateful words isnt helping. to the vegans on this page your really just working against your cause and this is why a lot of meat eaters won’t even entertain the idea of veganism because your making us all sound like nut bars 🙂

      • “A hag is a wizened [1] old woman, or a kind of fairy or goddess. In Irish and Scottish mythology, the cailleach is a hag goddess concerned with creation, harvest, the weather and sovereignty.[4][21] In partnership with the goddess Bríd, she is a seasonal goddess, seen as ruling the winter months while Bríd rules the summer. Hags as sovereignty figures abound in Irish mythology. The most common pattern is that the hag represents the barren land, who the hero of the tale must approach without fear, and come to love on her own terms. When the hero displays this courage, love, and acceptance of her hideous side, the sovereignty hag then reveals that she is also a young and beautiful goddess.” So yes Megan, you’re a “HAG”. A Goddess who is wise and who is concerned with creation and harvests. Those who approach you without fear find you are a young beautiful goddess. I love it when people compliment you! ?:O)

    • Yes, name calling. Always an effective method of communication.

    • Karma

      I agree, Raya. She’s as cold as any serial killer I’ve ever heard interviewed. There’s just nothing there…At all.

  56. Karma

    You are a sick, sick fuck, and you don’t even know it.

  57. Karma

    Your mother must not know what an empty soulled monster you are.

    • She knows. She helped with the pigs too!

    • How wonderfully fulfilling your live must be than to have nothing better to do than to read blogs you know you wont like and then spread your words of hate. How rewarded you must feel in your self satisfied little smug bubble of hate. The world should obviously have more people like you in it, then we could all spread hate equally among everyone! Karma really is a b*tch…

    • Kate

      Gosh, what a brave person you are, coming to a perfectly honest blog to name-call and bully while safely hiding in the anonymity of the internet. It’s so strange that these methods haven’t brought Megan to her senses.

      You might be less uptight if you stopped to enjoy a little bacon. Yum.

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