But that advice is at odds with our desire to give these pigs the best life we can. They’ll be on this Earth for some seven months, and I want those seven months to be time worth having. Because pigs are smart and social and curious, Kevin and I are part of their quality of life. You can’t watch a pig come running when you approach the pen, or feed her a treat out of your hand, or scratch between her ears without believing that those things make her happy.
I had no idea that pigs wag their tails. But they do.
Because their life is inevitably tied up with ours, deliberately withholding an emotional connection doesn’t seem right to me. My great-uncle Frank, who was a subsistence farmer in central Minnesota, used to say that hardening yourself to your livestock was a failure of stewardship, and I’m of his school.