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I just wanted to be the first to post in what is likely to be the most fractious topic that Slog has ever seen.

That is all.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 23, 2008 7:22 AM

that is fucking disgusting, i remember back when hippies were vegetarians. now they eat this nasty shit and vote for George Bush.

Posted by yuck | January 23, 2008 7:23 AM

Ham is evil. But I'd kill the pig.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 23, 2008 7:23 AM

"The most fractious topic Slog has ever seen." Why? Was the pig running for President?

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | January 23, 2008 7:38 AM

No, but I'll arbitrarily blame Hillary for killing the pig.

Because, you know, Muslims won't touch the stuff...

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 23, 2008 7:40 AM

I used to love pork, but I can't eat it anymore. I feel like I'm eating a pet.

I'm not quite a vegitarian yet, but I'm getting there. Giving up carnitas is hard, but I can't eat it without feeling totally evil.

Posted by Mike in MO | January 23, 2008 7:44 AM

Cute little pig. I will miss it.

Posted by Vitalis | January 23, 2008 7:58 AM

I've loved this idea since I read Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' and am glad to see it catching on here. Why shouldn't we be aware of how our food is processed? Having the slaughter be open to the public ensures that the animal's treatment is as efficient and least traumatic as possible. The stuff we buy at Trader Joe's doesn't even resemble an animal anymore. ...Unless someone has discovered a farm on which glossy blobs of breast meat roam freely until they are rounded up and shrink-wrapped? Don't answer that.

Posted by Beth | January 23, 2008 7:59 AM

I do think that this *is* self-indulgence on the part of foodies.

But I am divided.

On one hand, I think that it's a great thing to see where one's food comes from, and to realize that hamburger and pork chops and whatever doesn't just spring up from nothingness. And this is an art that I think needs to be celebrated.

On the other... was this whole experience *actually* Despite the fact that showing you the process by which you get most of your meat? It's great from that yuppie metronatural dinner party conversation perspective, so that you can tell all of your friends how you saw meat being made, but it wasn't as if you went to a factory farm and saw how we stock our grocery stores, right?

Posted by bma | January 23, 2008 8:11 AM

I feel very little, since Hector never touched my heart in a poignant portrayal of a gay cowboy.

Posted by DJSauvage | January 23, 2008 8:11 AM

That picture of the lil' piggy with the death winch made me sad... I'm glad all my meat products come from the Bacon tree behind Safeway.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | January 23, 2008 8:25 AM

Wow. Sometimes what I really want to do is live on a farm and live off my little scrap of land as best I can. But there is NO WAY I could slaughter a pig. Chickens? You betcha. Turkeys. No problemo. Pigs? No way. Thank goodness for butchers.

Posted by Michigan Matt | January 23, 2008 8:26 AM

Fascinating. I've never seen an animal being butchered before. Picture #16, where you can see the structures of the pig's body after it's been cut in half, is especially interesting.

Posted by Greg | January 23, 2008 8:29 AM

mmmm bacon.

to the vegetarians: I think the inside of an eggplant is just as disgusting as the inside of a pig... ie- not at all

I am going to cook myself some bacon and pork sausages now, I'm hungry!

Posted by high and bi | January 23, 2008 8:30 AM

The Weekly already wrote about this on its blog. Too slow!

Posted by joykiller | January 23, 2008 8:31 AM

Glad to see Gabe Claycamp is still an interminable douchebag.

Posted by kid icarus | January 23, 2008 8:33 AM

fact: reena kawal is very attractive.

Posted by max solomon | January 23, 2008 8:34 AM

Hector looks absolutely delicious. That settles it, I'm having tacos al pastor for dinner tonight.

If I had the time an resources, I'd slaughter all of my own meat, a la Ted Nugent.

Posted by Hernandez | January 23, 2008 8:39 AM

"Yes, the kind of monsters that bring their children to watch animals die also let them have sips of alcohol."

Get off yer damn high horse. That sentence is so transparently in the service of searching for ANY kind of shocking statement that backs up your preconceived notions I had to read it twice to make sure it was really there. You gonna call CPS on my parents because they used to let me sip wine at synagogue? Alcohol has tremendous cultural import - don't make it your moral whipping boy.

Posted by dbell | January 23, 2008 8:40 AM

Anytime I'm rude or short with people that I don't know, I justify it by telling myself that the person who I have made a snap judgement against is probably a bigger asshole than I am....probably voted for Bush, probably believes in Jesus, Probably didn't like Lost in Translation, and they probably would not flinch at the sight of a beautiful pig being cut, bled, and burned.

Thank you Slog for justifying my hateful existence. RIP Hector.

Posted by Bryce Beamish | January 23, 2008 8:41 AM

Oh, dbell, love...I know it's early but you forgot to switch on your sarcasm meter.

Posted by Beth | January 23, 2008 8:43 AM

A post both interesting and delicious.

I'm makin' bacon.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | January 23, 2008 8:45 AM

@8, I totally agree with you. I think people should know where their food came from. I'm sure very few kids today know where that meat on their plate came from or have yet to actually grow their own vegetables in a garden.

Posted by apres_moi | January 23, 2008 8:47 AM

Save me some of that sausage casing.

Posted by Fnarf | January 23, 2008 9:16 AM

almost as disturbing as watching migrant workers earning 50 cents an hour to pick the fruit and vegetables we eat...

Posted by michael strangeways | January 23, 2008 9:18 AM

Wow. I didn't need to see cute Hector.

That said, I gotta stand up for Gabriel. He is nothing if not passionate about food and bringing people new experiences with it. I've attended several dinners of his, and they are always fun, entertaining, and satisfying.

I do have to question the dude's hair, tho....

Posted by Brad | January 23, 2008 9:25 AM

We raised pig on our farm when I was a kid. We named all of them, treated them like pets, they let us ride on their backs, played with them, all knowing what was going to happen to them. We cried when they were taken away. I think what made it so easy to eat them is we didn't really know which one we were eating. And they were delicious. I miss the pigs.

Posted by monkey | January 23, 2008 9:27 AM

Bacon! It's what's for dinner!

Bacon is the food of the gods. It simply is an amazing product. Thanks Hector! Be eating you soon!


Posted by Reality Check | January 23, 2008 9:29 AM

Jonathan Kauffman wrote a better, more thoughtful, compelling, interesting account of this last week:

Please stick to mean-spirited critiques of restaurants and diners and leave this kind of thing to people who actually know and care about food.

Posted by JM | January 23, 2008 9:44 AM

It's all totally disgusting and sad in my opinion, but it does answer at least one question I have about carnivores: Would those who are such avid meat eaters be so avid if they had to personally club the animal to death in order to obtain their meat?

Posted by Bauhaus | January 23, 2008 9:48 AM

@ 30


I grew up on a farm, killed my own farm animals, ate them. I also hunt and fish for lots of my food.

So yes Bauhaus I would. Thanks for allowing me to clarify for you.

Posted by Reality Check | January 23, 2008 10:03 AM

@ 31

Sad, really. So I guess it's not just ignorance. Some people are just evil.

Posted by Jason | January 23, 2008 10:33 AM

wow. you are so full of yourself, bethany. when i read about this on the weekly's food blog, it sounded like a really beautiful, interesting event. but you, complaining about the atmosphere of the farm? sour mulled wine? i can't imagine what the rest of the diners/chefs thought about you.
oh, and kauffman also EXPLAINS why the meat may have been a little dry. pull your head out of your ass. seriously. or stick it back in and continue to write your terrible snarky, holier-than-thou "reviews".

Posted by b | January 23, 2008 10:36 AM

I grew up on a ranch and routinely saw and participated in butchering and slaughter.

Your food isn't made in a machine at Safeway. I think it is very cool for people to truly experience how that which sustains them comes to be.

For you to be offended...well, thats just stupid.

Posted by ecce homo | January 23, 2008 10:44 AM


Now that the FDA is about to give carte-blanc to animal cloning, I expect the nutrient vats filled with glossy blobs of breast meat to go online any day now.

Anyone who gets squeamish at these images certainly should re-evaluate their relationship to meat products.

And I agree, this sort of thing should be mandatory (as also should a visit to a factory farm, as suggested by @9). Knowing how your meat is treated both alive and dead is important to making informed choices about what you consume.

Posted by COMTE | January 23, 2008 10:50 AM

I too, was raised on a farm. We raised and slaughtered pigs. I don't eat them anymore because I learned how smart they are. They don't want to be murdered and eaten anymore than a human would.

Posted by crazycatguy | January 23, 2008 11:03 AM

i grew up on a hog farm. we also raised a calf each year for beef for the family. it was my responsibility to care for it, which included feeding it from a bottle and later training it to eat solid food from a bucket. every calf had a name, every calf recognized me throughout its lifespan and would come to the fence to gently suck on my fingers even as an adult.
i was very fond of them, but i knew why i was taking care of them. they lived longer at my house than they would have otherwise. (male dairy calve generally go for veal.) i had no regrets about eating them, there were no tears, and i liked knowing the name of my hamburgers.

Posted by ironymaiden | January 23, 2008 11:05 AM

Hey, that one guy in that one picture was my Classics TA. He was kind of an asshole.

Posted by Andy | January 23, 2008 11:11 AM

While interesting, this post doesn't even come close to addressing the ethical problems involved in eating meat. Most pigs that end up on North American dinner tables are not Hector from Happy Farms. Many more live like this:

Those who get their meat solely from hog farms like Hector's have every right to a clear conscience. Those who don't really need to visit a factory farm, and see where most of the meat they eat REALLY comes from.

Posted by Irena | January 23, 2008 11:24 AM

I'm eating a ham and cheese sandwich right now. It's delicious.

Posted by Greg | January 23, 2008 11:25 AM

First of all, Iím not easily offended, but this is the most ghastly, revolting thing that you have ever posted on Slog.

Shame on you for publicizing this gruesome event.

Maybe youíd like to post Shannon Harpsís autopsy photos to show how edgy and hip you are? And yes, Iíve been a vegetarian for 11 years and counting, not that itís any of your business.

Secondly, Iím really surprised this doesnít have Brendan Kileyís byline.

Posted by Original Andrew | January 23, 2008 11:27 AM

But you were warned as in "if you do not wish to be made violently ill, never watch men make sausages or law..."

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | January 23, 2008 11:39 AM

@39: Agreed. I choose to be a vegetarian, but I see no ethical issues with eating animals from small farms who were killed humanely, like Hector.

I've been a vegetarian for over 10 years, and didn't need any additional convincing, but I tried to watch this BBC documentary anyway, thinking additional perspective could be beneficial:

I got about 20 minutes into it before I finally had to stop, as it was making me feel physically ill. I look at diet as a personal choice and do not try to "convert" anyone, ever, but if you are in the habit of eating meat of unknown origins and are interested in seeing where it likely came from, then I suggest watching this.

Posted by Aislinn | January 23, 2008 11:52 AM

It is important for people to understand what food is, where it comes from, how it is raised, how it is killed, etc.

I think this type of education is crucial to ensure better understanding of our food, be it animal or vegetable.

Posted by Mrs. Y | January 23, 2008 11:59 AM

The most annoying thing about this thread would have to be the people who find it absolutely necessary to say things like-- "Ya, now I'm gonna go home and eat some fuckin' BACON motherfuckers!!!" Nobody thinks you're badass because the sight of a pig being slaughtered doesn't bug you. Now get back to work on those spare tires you got going, kids.

Posted by Mr. S | January 23, 2008 12:31 PM

Oh wow, some people witnessed their dinner while it was still alive. 186,000 people did that in my state alone. It's called deer hunting.

Posted by InTennessee | January 23, 2008 12:46 PM

As a former vegan, current vegetarian I respect people that are willing to see the process in person. And as a former child myself, I think watching it would have been endlessly fascinating. (The parents are not monsters. That's ridiculous.)

The clear difference between how Hector was raised --in a small farm environment, obviously cared for-- and how most "meat" is produced is the key, and a primary reason I'm veg. The vast majority of pigs are raised in small mechanical pens inside huge warehouses designed to automatically deliver food and air, and then sluice away the waste into vast cesspools.

This is where your restaurant food comes from in large. Machine-processed living conditions, leading to high-yield / low-nutrition meat "products". And yeah, the cheap meat will start coming from genetically engineered methods in the very near future (as Comte mentions). Bon appetit. (barf)

If we truly paid the actual monetary value for meat production, it would cost $20-40 per lb. And *shazam* the free market would produce healthier people through lower meat consumption. (wink)

Posted by treacle | January 23, 2008 12:46 PM

What's the problem with this? People eat meat, shall we pretend it comes from magical meat fairies? Butchering is no more gross or inappropriate for kids than plowing and planting seeds.

If you choose not to eat meat, that's fine; but finding animal insides gross rather than fascinating is your own problem. I'd recommend against a career as a surgeon or vet too.

Posted by SpookyCat | January 23, 2008 1:52 PM

#41 - Don't lie. Everyone on slog knows you're permanently offended. Not original, neither.

Posted by wbrproductions | January 23, 2008 2:47 PM

i thought we had experienced the pinnacle of bethany's ignorance about food (and culture) with her review of chiso kappo, but it turns out she knows even less about food. kudos for being an absolute moron and check out jonathan kauffman's feature in the weekly for the REAL story.

Posted by gina | January 23, 2008 7:54 PM

My meat products are grown in styrofoam and saran wrap husks on trees, and picked fresh for transport to my local grocer.

That's all I need to know.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 23, 2008 10:28 PM

i like cock.

Posted by Ted | January 24, 2008 6:01 AM

C'mon people, get a grip here- we are talking about the slaughter (and a respectful one too, Bethany, since you failed to mention that. I highly recommend the Seattle Weekly's version of this story for a more balanced reporting) of a pig. Yes, there were people there...and kids, even!! But I really wish all you hippies would shut your freakin' bong holes about how awful it is to kill "a beautiful animal". Would it somehow be ok if it was an ugly animal?!? Isn't a field of barley or wheat swaying in a gentle summer breeze a beautiful thing? Who are you to put such weight on a living being's right to existence on such a shallow thing as how "cute" it is? When it comes down to the real nitty-gritty; to sustain our lives, we kill and devour other living things, be they animal, vegetable, grain, etc. The point of this was to celebrate and give homage to that which nourishes us, without flinching away from that fact that for us to live, something must die. And to those freaked-out about kids being there? Egadzz!! Don't actually ensure that children KNOW where ham comes from!! It might teach them about responsibility and respect! Stop being so smugly self-righteous, and start being a part of the world you inhabit- life AND death are both integral parts of it.

Posted by DaWitch | January 26, 2008 7:11 PM

Gabriel Claycamp is a loser. The day before the pig slaughter he had "pneumonia" and couldn't cook for a dear friend's wedding -which had been planned for a while. Where's the bed ridden fat man now? Oh, yeah, I forgot. Entertaining dirty hippies by killing livestock. Well done Culinary Communion. Yet another disappointed customer.

Posted by Belial | January 28, 2008 5:20 PM

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