A Local Pig Kill In France

As more butchers hang up their hooks and supermarkets in all their shapes and sizes spring up on every high street, we as a nation are becoming more and more detached from the process of butchery.

The majority of meat now purchased by the consumer in the UK comes plastic wrapped in a foam tray. Blood and gristle and hair have been cleaned away, and what is left is what the supermarkets want us to believe is the perfect cut of meat. Plump pink breasts, rosy chops, clean fillet are all that are found in the shelves now and the idea of buying any offal, tongue or cheek will soon be a thing of the past.

But what effect is this conditioning having on our relationship with the animals we eat? Do we know how these animals live, what they eat, how much they weigh, what they smell like, what their flesh looks like?  Perhaps in years we will forget what the animal itself looks like, and will only be able to rely on what we are told.

On a recent trip to France I was lucky enough to be invited to a traditional pig kill on a local small holding. Although illegal in this country, in France you are still allowed to kill and butcher a pig on your own property, if it is for your own consumption and here a selection of photos from a morning helping two friends.

I appreciate that these images might upset some people, but I also believe it is important to journal traditional butchery, perhaps before it is too late.