Today's Telegraph has a grotesque photograph of a pig with its throat slit. George Margarit had just plunged his knife into her throat and hot steaming blood was spilling out onto the ground. The article tells us that the pig's screams and shudders continued even after she had breathed her last. And then Vasilicia poured out plum brandy for the visitors. It is the traditional way that pigs are slaughtered in Romania. If Lorraine Barrett read the Telegraph, she would feel sick. And I would understand why.
I daresay most Telegraph readers were disgusted to learn that these Romanians behave in such a barbaric way. But it is what most Welsh farming families did when I was a child. I remember to this day how much I hated it. The pig (the choson one) had been hand-fed for many months and had become something of a pet. Then one day the neighbours came over, dragged the pig to the house by a rope tied around it's snout, whereupon it was hauled up to a beam by its back legs - and then its throat was slit. I can still hear the pig's screams in my memory. It didn't stop me eating the faggots though. I hated it - but I accepted it as a normal part of life. And as far as I can remember evereyone else did as well. But then new rules came in which required the pig to be shot before it was stuck. Quite often, or so I was told, some people reversed these procedures - because it was held that the pig would not 'bleed' if shot first. Today, we all buy our pork and bacon from Tescos.
Anyway, now that Romania has joined the EU, pigs will have to be slaughtered by electrocution, shooting or tranquilisers, in the presence of an 'Inspector'. Quite right too. There will also be huge new taxes on the plum brandy which will make it unaffordable. And these Romanians will not be allowed to leave corpses at home for three days as they have always done. And their vegetables will have to be packaged before they can be sold from the farm. And they won't be allowed to sell cheese packed in sheep's stomachs on the side of the road. Etc., etc..
Welcome to the EU, Romania.