It wasn’t until a week had passed and I found myself in the sky, en route from Austin to Dallas that I finally looked at photographs of the slaughter. I couldn’t do it beforehand; it was still too close, I was still there.
Here is the answer that some voyeurs are waiting for: eating meat has been different. I finally had really good bbq at Sam’s BBQ in East Austin on Sunday night, and I ate the meat quickly. I wanted to eat it all, it tasted fucking good, and I didn’t want to be left again staring at the last pieces on my plate unable to get them to my mouth. So I ate fast.
I was also hungry, it was the evening of gaybigaygay and I wasn’t wearing any pants. So I ate fast.
This is the photo that reveals a slight bit of impending PTSD from the slaughterhouse experience. I don’t remember if I tried to smile, but I do remember feeling it was important to be respectful of the carcasses around me. It was also (obviously) terribly cold.
On the long flight home, I relived it all slideshow style, and the woman next to me glanced up from her needlepoint (a little boy in blue footsie pajamas hanging a stocking near a christmas tree) occasionally and then glanced back down. I felt like I was watching porn.
After watching all the slides (but none of the video, haven’t even touched the video, but remember the sound of the shot and of the pig’s body rattling as it convulses), I pulled out a leftover piece of bbq pork rib saved from Sam’s and ate it. It was wrapped in a piece of white bread, more foreign to this Jewish girl from Brooklyn than the bbq pork, and then wrapped in waxed paper, twice.
It felt like a performance piece, an odd one, a private show just for me and my blue jammie needlepoint seatmate. Not sure how she felt about it, if she felt about it. I was glad that the pig I was eating looked like pig, was identifiable from the final slides in the slideshow. I don’t think I could have stomached bologna.
Whether or not there is any causality, I have been dreaming of raw kale salad for the last five days. I think I’ll go slaughter some today, dig my fingers in and rub the salt around, break down its flesh with my bare hands. And I am maybe thinking about taking a full week off from meat.