STOP: IF YOU ARE AN ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, EMOTIONAL, OR TENDER-HEARTED, PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS POST. THIS IS THE DESCRIPTION OF THE SLAUGHTERING OF HOGS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION AS IT WAS DONE ON FAMILY FARMS ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY FOR MANY DECADES!
This article is written from my memories as a child. I wish I could take a trip back to experience it all over again. Before too long, no one will remember the way of life I will describe because those of us who lived it will be gone. Few in the our country carry on the traditions of raising and slaughtering their food. Believe it or not, those lovely packs of chickens, steaks, and pork chops, ready for you to buy and cook, started their life on a farm somewhere.
This is the story of one day of life on our farm. We were poor country people; no different than anyone else in our small community. We grew what we ate and shopped at a country store on credit for what we could not grow. The thought of jumping in the car to grocery shop for our weekly groceries, never crossed our minds. The Winn Dixie, A&P, Food Lion nor any other major chain existed in our small town; they were many years in the future.
The pork and beef you buy in those beautiful packages at the grocery and meat market has to be slaughtered and packed at a processing plant. We did not have this luxury when I was a girl. We had to slaughter and process our own meat to feed the family.
Above photo is free public domain
DAYS BEFORE “HOG KILLING DAY”:
Dad had to gather everything he would need for Hog Killing Day and have it ready and waiting. He placed all the wash-pots where they needed to be, tables setup, gun and shells ready, the scalding vat was ready for use, water hoses to wash out the gutted hogs, 50 lb bags of salt for pickle, lard stands, ham box ready, and he had wood for the fires. Mom gathered all the knives, pots and