Nov 2, 2017
Burying her head in the straw to root for goodies that I hid amongst it. Pigs need stimulus and manipulative material and research has shown that in their natural environment they spend 75% of their daylight hours in activity – rooting, foraging and exploring. You can imagine why if they don’t have this, they’ll start to bite each other’s ears and tails. They’re bored and frustrated. Although we don’t let our pigs roam wild and free, the space they are in is filled with sawdust, straw and branches so they can do what is most natural. Happy pigs!
Nov 3, 2018
Eggs n chikin. Today I spent a couple of hours talking about where our food comes from to a primary school in London. I asked them what a farmer looks like...mostly he is male, with a horse, a hat and a jacket. And occasionally he looks like an astronaut. Obviously. We drew our favourite foods and where they came from too. 'Eggs & chikin' was a strong contender for first prize. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t draw a chikin that well, or a chicken for that matter...
Nov 8, 2017
I’ve now been vegan for a week munching on lots of fruits and veg. I’m not really missing anything too badly - the smell of many delicious cheeses in my fridge is the only vague temptation. I do feel like a bit of an arse asking ‘is this vegan’ in restaurants and hurriedly explain it’s only a temporary diet. Interesting that I should feel so awkward about it. Maybe because I don’t see it as a solution to the big worldly food problem. It certainly goes a way to help, but there are SO MANY crappy junk-filled additive-pumped vegan foods too. Surely they can’t be doing anyone any good either? I learnt last night that Oreos are vegan - no cream in those bad boys, just lots of corn syrup and other highly addictive stuff not worth mentioning. Lab rats had more neurons triggered in their brains eating Oreos than they did with cocaine. Now I love an Oreo as much as the next piggy person, but surely that isn’t right?
Nov 12, 2017
Just witnessed my family eating possibly the most delicious roast chicken I’ve ever seen. I made lots of other yummy things to go with it but the smell of that chicken - so tempting. AND NO GRAVY EITHER. I am missing sausages too. 1 in 5 of our children don’t know where bacon comes from. I was actually too scared to even tell the children I taught last week that I was going to make bacon and sausages from my pigs. I didn’t want to upset them or cause an issue for the school with their parents. It’s all wrong. Next time I shall be telling them of the glory of ham, pork chops, real sausage rolls and a fat-glisteningly good bacon sandwich. All from the pig!
Nov 30, 2017
The parts we don’t see, and mostly we don’t want to see. They don’t come nicely sterilised in bland colours sitting on a manky bit of absorbent cushioning in the supermarket. Why are they so much harder to face? Is it because rather than a pale, lifeless piece of meat, we can actually recognise parts of ourselves in these bloody organs? In Jonathan Safran Foer’s book ‘Eating Animals’ he puts this very aptly - ‘at stake in the question of eating animals is not only our basic ability to respond to sentient life, but our ability to respond to parts of our own (animal) being...Whether we look away from the animal, our plate, our concern, ourselves or not, we are exposed. Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded.’ That is actually a pretty big thing to confront, and seeing these parts of an animal can often be uncomfortable - normally we choose to look away and ignore them, searching for alternatives that are presented in a more ‘aesthetically pleasing’ way. I made the most delicious soppressata in Tuscany with these parts and all the other ‘leftovers’ from a pig. It is very similar to English brawn, and everything is boiled in a large pan including the head. You then pick all the meat, chop, season and set it - it’s absolutely bloody delicious.