|from the fundraising page for "thelastpig" documentary|
Over time I'd see Bob write about something farming related, and honestly, some of the stuff he wrote was really... depressing. And not because of the usual farming stuff, but more because of the constant personal angst that I kept seeing in his posts. Guilt, rage, conflict. Like in this post.
One thing that is interesting to watch is drama, and Bob Comis is big farming drama. A documentary director has decided to dramatize "the last pig that Bob Comis delivers to the butcher", and there's a dramatic trailer with nice lingering visuals. It's pigs, but the disney version. It's Bambi vs a deer hunting video. I'm struggling for how to articulate this - it's not farming.
Not farming as I experience it. After reading and talking to and knowing about Bob for the past 6 years, I often wondered why on earth he continued to farm if it bothered him so much. But it's not just that farming bothers him, in my opinion everything bothers Bob. He hates cubicles. He hates Tractors. If I were to summarize the vast majority of his life it would be "darn, life is sure a bummer!!" I can't recall ever reading a post from him that I found hopeful, or joyful, or even happy.
I've been full-time farming for a while now, and I've personally probably killed more than a thousand pigs. Maybe a few thousand, and I too love the animal. Pigs are my favorite livestock, and I care for them by hand and live with them and I too do my best to offer them the best life I can while they are here.
But even with all of that, there are parts of farming that draw me, that provide me joy and fufillment, and that let me sleep at night knowing that i've done good work. Back to the documentary...
Here's what I wrote recently on a social site about killing - which is the focus of this documentary:
"I run a pig farm, and sell direct to people who eat the pigs; we sell some live, and some processed. Some of the processing we do here on the farm; for bbq pigs, for instance. So I've probably killed around a thousand pigs.
now I like pigs; I started pig farming because I like the animal, and I enjoy working with them; we are a farrow-to-finish operation for some of our production; we sell most of our pigs as weaners.
Even after doing the quantity of killing that i've done, I still have feelings of regret-relief-satisfaction-remorse, some days more than others, at the act of the kill. it's particularly hard to kill animals that you've bottle fed, or to have to put down pets, or to kill an animal that you really-really-really hope will recover, but you know that it won't, and a quick end is the humane and kind choice for the animal.
it's different, killing. "
If you go long enough we will all die. It's a universal rule that we all have to abide by, to face, to contemplate, and eventually obey.
It's the way nature is; it's the way we are. I am conflicted but content.