I left the farm yesterday for a dentist appointment.
While driving down the highway to town I passed a tractor trailer.
It was a familiar sight on that particular stretch of road...
a trailer with ventilation holes and a ramp safely stowed on the back door.
I knew it carried some poor farm animals on their way to no place good.
Usually when I see one of these trucks on the highway, I avert my eyes...
(the same way I do when I see a deer that was killed on the highway)...
willing away it's very existence.
For some reason, yesterday, I couldn't ignore the truck and cast a sideways glance.
It was filled with pigs.
My heart sank and I was immediately filled with sadness.
Now, I cannot pretend that I don't like bacon... or that I don't eat meat.
I have chosen a mental disconnect between the animals that I love and the meat that I eat...
but it's not without a degree of remorse and guilt.
Years ago I made the conscious decision to reject grocery store meat...
and I haven't looked back.
Now, this decision comes at a cost... and it's one that affects the pocket book.
To me, though, it is worth the extra money to buy only meat
humanely raised on pasture from farmers within a several mile radius of the farm.
This severely limits my choices... but I am fine with that.
I have also made an effort to eat much less meat than previously.
Beans, eggs, cheese, and sustainably-caught fish round out the protein in our diets.
But, back to those pigs in the truck.
It seems the only thing that separates them from my two beloved pigs at home
As I cast that sideways glance into the tractor trailer,
I saw the eyes of one particular pig looking at me
and I felt incredible sadness.
From having my own two porcine princesses I have learned that pigs
are incredibly intelligent.
They are emotional beings.
They love socialization.
They love to be touched... they almost melt from the attention.
They are kind, and tolerant, and trusting, gentle creatures.
But then, our pigs feel safe and never threatened... so I believe their true nature shines through.
The long and the short of it is...
I believe that our industrial agricultural system needs to change.
The world needs to work together to find a way to feed our
while treating our animals in a more humane way.
Sadly, I don't have any answers.
Once home, I felt an incredible need to connect with my girls.
If nothing else... perhaps I can help to open some eyes
to amazing human/animal relationships...
and to illustrate how similar animals are to humans.
Perhaps if we can develop the ability to look into their eyes and see ourselves...
we might all work together to bring about a change.