What's in a name?
To name the pig, or to not name the pig, that is the question.
Are you a member of the food rearing collective? Do you visit a bird, bovine or swine daily? Feeding it, cleaning up after, nursing it to health should it fall ill? All of these things done while knowing that at the end of the season, that critter is destined to be in the freezer to feed you (or your customers)?
What do you call them?
Is it wrong to give them identities? Are you comfortable taking an axe to something that you were on a first name basis with?
Fortunately this isn't a problem I'm having today. Not yet anyway. Right now the only eatable livestock I have are the chickens and (lucky for them) they're layers! No stock pot (yet) for them!
But here's the problem:
Last fall, after a fox came through and ate the majority of my regular eggers, I found someone very near by selling some funny looking white chickens, Brahmas. I bought 6 and tossed them into the coop not too long before the snow flew. They settled in ok, they weren't picked on too badly and didn't pick anyone themselves.
Now I'm not good at naming livestock (I named my first batch of brown layers "Henrietta" as a whole, the second batch was named "Mrs. Henley", but the chickens with individual names out here weren't named by me!)
Now one of the new white hens, I did name. But we're not going to get into that, it was a bit tongue in cheek, but I alternated between that name and calling her "useless" because she had the worst nasally squawk, she never laid eggs and when they were given supervised outside time (still wary of the foxes), she NEVER left the coop!
In the spring I traded 3 of those white birds to a girl down the road for some more brown layers, one was snatched by a fox and Useless ended up dying while I was out of town, though she had been looking poorly and I had a feeling it was coming.
So now there is one of that Nameless bunch and and she's lucky enough to be selected for the meat bird breeding program out here... but still no name.
And there's your task! What's shall I call this grumpy looking white girl??
(Pictured with her flatmates, Fred on the left and Thelma at the back on the right)