So, my brother-in-law thought the perfect Christmas Break activity would be hunting feral pigs on the Texas countryside... Although the alternative of shopping for winter boots for Grandma Opal sounded like fun, I decided to join the men on their wild excursion. Turned out the vast majority of the day was not so wild and entailed me curled up in the fetal position asleep on the floor of multiple hunting stands. But, the day livened up when we called in locals Jeremy and Garrett along with their 7 lucky hunting dogs (best Speicher family pizza night movie ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wmNeIdjqgs).
As the story goes, we followed the dogs around as the scoured every last inch of the woods, and when they got to the last little section, blam-o! The dogs found a pig, brutality (involving my dad, a knife and the repeated hollering of the phrase "coldpig" at the dogs) followed and we hauled the pig back for processing.
What could possibly be beautiful about that situation??? That is what I have been sitting here trying to think of for a good few days and here's what I came up with:
Growing up on a farm, my parents taught us kids how important it is to respect the lives that animals sacrifice for us to eat. Nothing quite wakes you up to that reality as seeing an animal be hunted and killed. I had to hold back tears as the dogs tore into the pig's legs. I wasn't disgusted by the blood; I was just sad to see the pig in such fear. True, Disney has taught me to personify the feelings of animals, but Simba and Nemo aside, a pig is still a creature designed to show humans a piece of God's character in whatever abstract way may apply. It is cool to be able to appreciate what God has made, recognize it as so, and treat it with respect and an appropriate reverence for its sacredness. That reminder is pretty beautiful.
I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food. -Bruce, Finding Nemo