Underbelly's Alabama bureau weighs in on the new Hogzilla, the giant wild boar nailed by an 11-year-old boy last week:
Wild hogs are more common than ordinary farm hogs now, I guess. Used to be every farmer had a boar and a sow or two. they'd sell some or most of the little pigs at weaning size, raise the rest to butcher and fill the smoke house. Now, you hardly ever see a sow on a farm around here. all the meat comes from Smithfield's factory farms. some, in NE Alabama -- really Appalachian mountain country, have so bad an odor and other problems, nearby farmers can't breathe the air or even step outside the house. real horror. ...
Many, many years ago i happened to be visiting my in-laws on this farm when a hog-killing took place. we did the butchering on the banks of a branch in the barn lot -- lots of hot water is essential. It was a huge effort -- well, it was a huge hog. long time ago. Incidentally, the smoke house where the hams and shoulders and sides were hung to complete curing is now my outside tool shed.
Phew, I bet he is right about the smell. I remember Southwestern Ohio--out of Dayton, towards Washington Courthouse--on August evenings 50 years ago, i.e., long before commercial piggy factories. The whole county stank, and it was muggy to boot. I can understand why all those nasty flu bugs come from South China.