In the Jungle
What better way to celebrate Christmas in the jungle than with a nice roasted pig. Sounds like a great idea right? I thought so too…
After bonding over an entire day of hiking through the jungle, swimming under waterfalls and elephant riding, it was easy for our group of twelve to decide in favor of buying a pig to roast for our Christmas dinner in the jungle. We were a bit of an odd group. Four Jewish camp counselors, two honeymooners from the Netherlands, a Basque brother and sister and we three American English teachers working in Japan.
Our vote in favor of pig slaughter was unanimous. It is actually a bit disturbing considering we had just finished feeding some little piglets, but our hunger for an authentic jungle experience was greater than our compassion for the little buggers.
Somehow in our discussion about wanting to cook up and devour a pig, I hadn’t considered that it would be alive. I was prepared for its head to be attached. Even for the fact that they would probably be goring it up to get it cleaned and ready to go. I guess I just pictured whoever intended on selling it to us taking it out back and putting it down before sending it our way.
Imagine my surprise when a guy rode up on a moped with a pig in a sack squealing and kicking in a futile attempt at escaping its fate. A few of the ladies took off immediately unable to bear witness to such barbaric behavior as pig killing. Perhaps I should have gone with them.
I stayed to watch, but only close enough to keep my man card. I was really feeling rugged after trenching through the jungle, as yet unphased by the rigors of jungle life. I didn’t want to throw it all away for a pig.
The moped dude was joined by another guy with a big long club. The more avid pig slaughter enthusiasts including my friend Eric quickly formed a circle around the two men. Amused by their interest the dude with the club handed it to Eric. Assuming he was simply meant to inspect the murder weapon, he took it from him. The dude from the moped grabbed the squealing pig and located its head through the burlap. He motioned to Eric and pointed at a good spot on the pig’s temple. The other guy then gave the go ahead and egged him on with swinging gestures.
Eric was a little caught off guard, but quickly rose to the challenge. He took one good swing and popped the poor sucker on the head. For about two seconds I thought he had done it, but he only succeeded at setting the pig to panic. Blood curdling squeals began to echo through the jungle. Spurred on by his desire to put the pig out of its intensifying misery, he gave it everything he had this time. This one almost sounded a little squelchy, but did little more than freak the pig out even more. Two strikes and you’re out I guess. The Keren guy took back his club and gave it a go himself. Even he was unable to manage it. I guess this was one hard headed little piggy and he was hanging on to dear life by the hair of his chinny chin chin.
Finally, they decided to resort to more drastic methods. The guy holding the pig untied the sack and allowed the pigs head to poke out. He then pulled the burlap taught and strangled the poor thing to death. Luckily at this point they took the pig away to manage the rest of the butchering.
Surprisingly this whole experience didn’t diminish our enjoyment of eating the pig. We each got our fill of rich, crispy fire roasted pork. You really can’t get it any fresher than that. Belatedly I realized that even the Jewish girls enjoyed their share, though this had to be the least kosher meal I have ever eaten.
Moral of the story is: people may have objections to the slaughter of animals, but few will complain when it comes time to eat.