[I think the title should be enough to indicate that this post may not be appropriate for all audiences. But if not, consider this your warning.]
Today my presence was requested in order that I might bear witness to the proper execution of a pig castration. It being my first such procedure, I doubt my testimony will be admissible in any future proceedings. Nonetheless, I attended. The patient belonged to Wes and since he is on vacation in Australia, I was needed as an observer.
I’m skeptical whether what I saw could be considered the “right” way to castrate a pig by anyone with an informed opinion. Since I doubt the pig will be afforded the opportunity to report his experience, I will record mine here.
The first order of business was immobilization. To that end, Ken attempted to loop a strap around the pig’s chest passing between his forelegs. The first few tries failed and Papa Jon, the surgeon, deemed the pig past proper castration age, too aggressive and unruly. After a few minutes, though, Ken steeled himself for one more go. This time he succeeded. Then he took the tail end of the same rope and tied it around the pig’s hindquarters creating a duffle-bag like handle parallel to the pig’s spine. Throughout this hog-tying, the pig was not just struggling, but screaming hideously. But once the first rope was secured, another was wrapped around the pig’s snout to muzzle him. Together Ken and Hoku then lifted the pig by the duffle strap and hung him from a fence post about four feet off the ground. Next Gioku and Kenedi (two teenage family members) took up positions at the pig’s front end to lock down the head and hands. Two dogs circled waiting for blood. Ken and Hoku each grabbed one hind leg and Papa Jon moved in with his razor blade.
Papa Jon moves like a man in his nineties, though his actually age is unrecorded. He walks slowly, permanently hunched over, and with a stick for support. He doesn’t have a full set of teeth and his speech is slurred. He can’t hold his hands steady. In short, he is just the man any pig would want approaching its hind end with a razor blade.
Papa Jon’s first incision was only about half the length required. Unfortunately for the pig, Jon tried doggedly to make it work. When it didn’t, he extended the cut by a millimeter at a time, testing each increment for clearance. After cuts uncounted and eight long minutes of muzzled squeals, the first objective was achieved. Once it was cut loose, a mysterious concoction was poured over the wound and it was stuffed with a green mash Gapi had been chewing which looked like a few tablespoons of pesto. Then the process was repeated to achieve the second aim.
When it was all over, I asked with fear in my heart what they were going to do with the extracted items. My fears were not unfounded. They said they taste like sausage, but I’m not convinced they’ve ever tasted proper sausage and I refuse to become the authoritative voice on that comparison.