I woke up this morning to what might possibly be the most hellish sound on the planet: that of a pig being slaughtered. The death of a pig is of no more or less consequence than that of any other animal, but the drama of hearing a pig scream and squeal its last living breath away weighs heavy on the heart. Pigs don’t die quietly, that is for sure. At least I know that I won’t be eating any more pork when I get home to the States.
This is life in the country, though—your food is walking around one day, eating scraps from the table and rummaging through your garden, and is served up for dinner the next. It is quite a strange experience to eat an animal’s meat on the same day I have seen it living and breathing. Sometimes it is easy to remove yourself from the equation, but a wake-up call at six in the morning in the form of a weeping and wailing pig does help to keep it all in perspective. —Mario Machado