October 19th, 2009
So the other day I dissected a pig in my Human Phys. and Anatomy class, and I thought of my wonderful trip to a pig farm in France!
Yeah, seriously, one of the strangest experiences of my life.
My aunt and her family have a pig farm in the heart of Bretagne (Brittany), France and my family and I visited about 6 years ago. It’s a typical country house: dirt driveway, giant oak dinner table, and the ever-abundant, slightly appealing, earthy scent of hay and manure. Honestly, I love farms. I love the outdoors and the animals and the hard work. The mud room in their house is actually muddy ( no way….) and everyone works hard to do what they have to do.
When my mom first told me our relatives had a pig farm, I expected a Charlotte’s Web – type barn with a few pigs and hay, but was met with a giant metal warehouse that houses hundreds of pigs. With hundreds of pigs comes quite a powerful…aroma. Seriously, this smell is one of the most pungent to ever grace my presence. It’s a very distinct, slightly sourish, piggy smell.
But once you get over the smell, you hear the noise. HUNDREDS of pigs. In a warehouse. It’s pretty intense. They have the mother pigs (sows, I believe) that have just given birth, the baby pigs, and the teenager-ish pigs separated by partitions and housed in different rooms. My siblings and I looked into every room, took some pictures, and got to pick up some of the babies. Little squealing, squirming bundles of stinky pink. Adorable.
We didn’t stay inside too long [for fear of suffocation
], but then walked around the rest of the farm and enjoyed the raspberry bushes and the tire swing.
So my lesson to you: enjoy the little things. go outside. explore the outdoors. pick up a pig or two, and take a deep whiff of life