WARNING: The following post is rated “R” for graphic images of a slaughtered farm animal.

This Halloween we received an unexpected treat: a whole hog. No joke. The animal was wheeled into the kitchen on a cart – à la patient in ER – plopped on the table, and promptly cut up into pieces. It was strange, seeing that whole animal there…It looked plastic and lifeless – obviously lifeless, the thing was dead, but what I mean is it appeared as if it had never ever been a walking, snorting thing.

Anyhow, despite the photos you’ll see below, butchering was not a cruel, self-indulging experiment but a necessary learning experience. As a matter of fact, I wish we had something to cut up every day. I mean, haven’t you ever found yourself at the supermarket staring blankly at shrink-wrapped hunks of meat with names that are utterly meaningless and misleading? For instance, did you know that pork butt isn’t the pig’s rear at all but a portion of its shoulder? I bet you didn’t, but now you’ve been enlightened.

Enough small talk – you may proceed to the ghoulish gallery: