When I looked down at the 220 pound boar I had just shot and killed, I was filled with awe and gratitude to this animal that had just given itself over to me. I had brought the pig down with my first shot, one shot directly to his lungs, killing him almost instantly. This is what I had been taught to do and, somehow, although the scene had been chaotic, I managed to do it. I knew it was true, and yet it was hard to believe.
Even so, cutting through the layers of membranes and then slowly revealing the miraculous beauty of this creature's inner makeup was astonishing. At a certain point, my task was to reach into the chest cavity in order to cut the diaphragm free. I needed to do this with both my arms. It was that kind of experience, and it went on from there.
I came back home that night and the next day started butchering those big pieces into pork chops, tenderloin roasts, ribs, packages of pork shoulder, and so forth. Tomorrow, I'm going to make sausages with the leg meat, because I don't have a smoker to make ham, and wild pigs don't have enough fat to produce the right meat for bacon.
Knowing where this meat came from, where the pig lived and what he ate, informs how I feel about all the meat I have in the freezer now. The pig has changed me.
Thank you pig.