Mr. Ping Ping

Today I found Mr. Ping Ping dead in the hut we had set up for the starter pigs. Mr. Ping Ping was our smallest berkshire pig. He and a few of his runt friends were held back from graduating to “finisher” status (you can guess what that means) because they were too small to move up. Even being a whole generation older, Mr. Ping Ping was still only about half the size of the rest of the starters in the new group. I was really rooting for that guy, especially because he’d made it even the the previous group had been probably about three times his size on average by the time he moved out. I see and handle dead animals pretty much every day here. Usually it’s a few chickens (of the thousand we started out with). I’ve even mercy killed some of the chicks who couldn’t walk or really operate (you do it by taking them by the legs and whacking their heads against the door frame. Tim was overzealous one time and the head came clean off).

But Mr. Ping Ping is the hardest loss so far, I guess that’s what we get for giving the cutest pig a name. In a sense, though, it’s a good thing that I’m a bit sad for the little guy. On a farm like this one you can actually wish that animals lived longer, unlike on a CAFO (where an early death is merciful), because their standard of living is pretty high. There have been numerous times where I’ve felt envious for the animals, all they do is eat, drink, sleep, shit (and roll around in it, if they’re pigs), and repeat, while we get to provide food, fix their shelters, give them straw to keep warm, etc… every day. That’s the life isn’t it?

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~ by justinhong on June 1, 2009.

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