I’m looking at a picture that must have been taken at a meat processing plant.  All you can see in the image is a bin full of pigs’ hooves, including the lower leg portion.  The legs were removed– not at the first joint– but the second.  The skin appears pale, close to white.  The hooves are distinctly pink, which is obviously blood, but the darkness/lightness of the color varies.

I guess these are called “trotters.”  It’s true, I looked it up.  How demoralizing.  I guess they are used to make soup stocks, but apparently they are also considered a “normal” cut of meat.  I didn’t know that.  It looks disgusting to me, but how is it really any different than eating the leg of a turkey or the wing of a chicken?

I wonder how many animals’ remains are in this bin…there must be several dozens of leg parts in only the little portion of the photo that I’m looking at.  It seems so senseless and so unnecessary to kill animals who would have chosen life over death if given the choice.

In the world that I envision, these hooves & lower legs would not be in a bin destined for cellophane wrapping in the grocery meat counter.  Neither would they be salted and smoked and preserved in hot vinegar, put in jars…called “pigs feet.”

No, I’d like these hooves attached to their rightful owners.  Living, breathing pigs who are individuals just like you and me.  I want to see the whole pig, and admire her place on Earth as a friend.  My necklace reads “Friend, Not Food.”  Yes, that’s the way I’d like it to be.