Half of a pig is coming to our house tomorrow.

I’ve been told, and I’m desperately hoping this is true, that it will arrive pre-butchered, pre-wrapped and post-disgusting.  But I’m still a bit nervous.

I haven’t eaten pork in 15 years, which is when I stopped eating meat. Actually, it’s probably been longer than that since I was not a big ham-eatin’ person prior to giving up meat.  But I can say with certainty that’s been 15 years.  So this will be a change.

I didn’t quit meat because I was anti-meat.  I’m the daughter of a hunter (as a kid I used to like helping skin the deer, actually) and I have no philosophical objection to eating dead stuff, though I fully understand those that do.  But I do have a philosophical objection to the way most meat is produced in America and that’s why, my junior year in college, I decided enough was enough.  So I stopped eating meat.  (But not sustainably harvested fish, which is why I don’t call myself a vegetarian and which also explains most of the awkward and repetitive uses of the word “meat” in this post.)

My choice of timing was remarkably stupid because immediately afterward I spent a semester in Ireland.  It is very difficult to not eat meat in Ireland, in case you were wondering. But then again, on the other hand, the timing was remarkably fortuitous because while I was busy attempting to not eat meat in Ireland, the Mad Cow Disease mania hit Europe and I was, gratefully, exempt from worry.  I wasn’t exempt from feelings of non-meat-eating superiority, but I was 21 at the time so that was to be expected.

So I quit eating meat in 1996.  Since that time I’ve eaten non-water-based creatures on only a handful of occasions.  I had some moose chili a few years ago, because when I declared my non-meat-eating status I reserved an exemption for new and unusual things I might not get to try again.  I ate venison enchiladas eaten under a similar if-I-know-the-hunter exemption a while back.  When we had to whack a few roosters last year I ate them under the subsection of that same policy.  And there were a few stray turkey sandwiches that slipped in when I was trapped in situations where my choices were turkey sandwich or my own arm. There’s no exemption for self-cannibalism.

But that’s it.

So you can see where I might be concerned with the half-a-pig situation.

I’m ethically fine with the half a pig.  It (as in the whole pig) was raised humanely at a farm nearby enough that Michael offered to take me to go meet the pig.  I turned that down because I’m not that gleefully grim, but I appreciated the thought.  Raising the pig was a good deal for the farmer.  It was a good deal for Michael.  It wasn’t the best deal for the pig, but there are days when I hear about someone’s lingering death from some brutal disease and I think, “Yeah, well, it could be worse, pig.”  I’m just not sure what kind of a deal it will be for me.

We are prepared to host half a pig.  We purchased a chest freezer, which is currently humming away in the dining room with a gallon bag of strawberries and some coffee beans stuffed inside.  We’ve worked out the arrangements to get the half-pig from the farm to the freezer.  Michael, who as you might imagine is the driver behind this effort, has a roster of pork recipes ready to go.

I guess I’m just questioning whether, after all of these years of non-pig-eating, I’ve got it in me.

We shall see.

Let’s change the topic, shall we?

I’ve been feeling the itch to post pictures of the autumn colors because autumn is such a lovely time of year here and it seems like something that should be shared.  But I don’t have any pictures of the autumn colors due to any number of excuses including dead camera batteries, forgetting to bring the camera, the brokenness of my laptop and the accompanying confusingness of Michael’s, rainy days, small children that occupy all my free moments, and laziness.

Luckily, what I do have is a stash of pictures back from an earlier, less hectic time in my life when I enjoyed such activities as taking pictures of the autumn colors.  And, even more luckily, one of these pictures is roughly about the same stage of autumnal coloration that we are at now.  The sky is even cloudy, like today.

So here you are.  Autumn colors circa 2005.

Today looks something like this.

*waves hand*