These few upcoming blogs I have been trying to write have something to do with the future and my place in it. I saw a friend the other day that I had a class with during my first semester here at the U of A and I was telling him that I was graduating in May. I’ve been saying out loud more often and every chance I get because there is this distant small voice telling me it’s not going to happen. But I’m optimistic and I want to do something else other than hang out in the library and pretend to do work. I want to live.
“What are going to do?” “Are you going to look for a job?”
First two things he said when I told him about May. I have been thinking about getting a job and hearing someone else mention made it more real. Once I graduate what will I do? I need to “bring home the bacon.” Damn loans and other bills I put on the “back-burner” I need to deal with.
I want to share a story that is not mine but is my Mother’s. I asked her if I could tell it on my blog because it has to do with food. My Mom was raised by her Grandmother and she took care of her along with several other of our family members. She was strict but she carried all the care in the world in just her fingertips.
My great Grandmother had a garden, several pets, chickens, and one big pig named “Blondie.” It was my Mom’s uncle Tony who had brought the pig when he was just a baby and my Mom just got attached. Blondie was a semi-celebrity being the only pig in Sells that did tricks on command. The local schools would take class field trips and walk to my great Grandmas’ house on the hill just to see Blondie. A natural performer, Blondie was something special and was more than just a pig to my mom. He was family.
My Mom was 18 years old just graduated from high school and was away for the summer in Tucson. When she finally came home to my Great Grandmother’s house in Sells, she saw stacks of meat freshly cut on the kitchen table. My Mom of course curious asked “where did all this meat come from?” I believe my mom is still traumatized from this one moment. Blondie died of old age and the men of the family wanted to butcher the pig before it went bad. My mom was looking at Blondie cut up like pork chops. They gave all the meat away to family, friends, and neighbors. They had a big feast and invited everybody to eat.
My Mom still talks about this time and always reminds us that she didn’t eat Blondie that day. She was sad, but also disgusted.
My Great Grandmother made sure everybody was fed. She was the provider for everyone including the plants and animals. I lost my Great Grandmother when I was 18 and hearing these old stories about her and my Mom raising pigs and chickens really shocked my feelings on my own time. I get my food at the grocery store a majority of the time. If I was in my Mom’s shoes, I don’t know if I would have eaten Blondie that night.
My Mom grew up with Blondie, shared moments with that pig. There are a lot of things that my Mom has experienced that I may never, so I can only pretend and ask questions. But then I start to think about the food I eat now. Mainly the meats and poultry I get at the store. Did anybody love this cow? Did someone teach this pig tricks? Then I start to think about my humanness like even though I didn’t hunt or raise this animal, I still can get it because I’m the superior human able to go to the grocery store, and yes I got my Safeway card to save 0.42 cents.
I have come to a conclusion on how to solve this ethical dilemma. I must raise a pig from birth and then decide if I will eat or pass. It’s the only way. With graduation around the corner, I’m going to need to be bringing home that bacon. Maybe I could be an Animal Cop. That’s a real job right?