The last 24 hours has actually been a huge learning curve and revelation. When we decided to ethically farm and produce our own meat and veg, we did this for many reasons, one of them being the more questions you ask, the more you find out ... and knowledge thrusts you into a world of decisions. You can no longer plead ignorance and just role with convention.
Last weekend there was a peaceful demonstration on the steps of H and M in Melbourne about the cruelty of factory farmed pigs. This is something we abhore, which is one reason why we grow our own meat, however this is the first time our pigs have been large enough to breed, and this year we will welcome our first farm born piglets.
So why am I rabbiting on about factory farming ... Because today I learnt something else - pigs make nests. Yes, I am serious. I came home from my daughters basketball game to see Abby (our pregnant sow) making a nest. She was gathering straw, sticks, leaves and numerous other items from her paddock to make a huge nest. We then gave her extra items and were enthralled, watching her prepare for the birth of her piglets. It was so beautiful, and natural to see her prepare, not unlike any expectant parent.
Apparently this means that we can expect piglets within 24 hours, which is so overwhelmingly exciting. My point, aside from this amazing piece of news, was how distressing it must be to be a factory pig having piglets, not able to do what is natural. I know many people would frown upon us eating meat altogether, however I know that we are doing the best we can for our family, our animals and our role on the planet.
Pigs really are amazing characters, and watching her today was truley a special moment.