Well, I warned you, this post is not for the squeamish.
I remember when I was a little girl, quite a few of my friends lived on small farms in the Alberni Valley. Their parents grew their own produce and raised their own livestock for food. I can remember watching their parents selecting the chicken they were going to have for their meal that evening, and dispatching it on the chopping block they kept behind the house. And yes, it is true what they say about headless chickens. I have seen it.
Our family, however, did not have a farm and my mother bought her meat and poultry from the butcher shop, Beggs Meat Market. It was a real butcher shop and my mother could ask for particular cuts of meat, and they would be cut for her right there. Poultry, however, often still had the feathers on, particularly the Christmas turkey or the New Year's goose, and my job was to pluck the feathers out.
Often my father and my brothers would go duck hunting and bring home a brace of ducks or perhaps geese, and nothing was wasted. My mother cured the down from the ducks and geese, and made each of us our own eiderdowns. We chose our own fabrics, and mine was paisley, exactly like the eiderdown in this picture. There was nothing more wonderful on a chilly night, or when I was not feeling well, than to climb under my eider down. I can still hear my mother saying, "Are you not feeling well? Why don't you put your eiderdown over you," and I can still feel her tucking my feet in. Today, instead, we buy our eiderdowns or feather duvets from Daniadown, and in Canada they cost as much as $8,000.
I was in Kin's fruit and vegetable market this evening after work, and I was amazed at all the wonderful exotic fruits and vegetables there. Persimmons! We don't grow persimmons here. They are delivered here - fresh - on an airplane.
All of this was brought back to me today when I saw the pork with the face still on it. We live such sanitized lives today. Everything is wrapped in cellophane. We don't have to think too much about the process that brings our food to the market and to our table. We certainly don't have to think about whether or not it had a face.