I've recently nailed the trough down to the fence so I don't have to actually enter the pig run to feed them. I just got tired of being nuzzled and slimed--if not actually nibbled, and not in a nice way--by two beasts that collectively weigh more than I do, while wrangling the trough back into food-receptive position yet again. Even so, the trough is alarmingly small relative to the animals, and even small relative to the amount of food we're now forced to dump in there. For a long time we were feeding them "pig nuts", pellets of virtual Piggy Chow, along with a steady diet of cheesemaking-runoff whey and, now, a box of castoff/windfall apples at midday. But the feed got expensive, so now we're buying wheat kernels and barley from up the valley, soaking it in hot water and dumping it down them. Quite frankly, they should be more discriminating, because I'm becoming convinced that I could shred the styrofoam from the garage and they'd still injure each other trying to get to it.
I am told that pigs are more intelligent than dogs, the obvious implication being that I shouldn't even be THINKING about eating them. And I have no reason to doubt it (the intelligence, that is). But if they're so smart, why haven't they developed better manners? As far as I'm concerned, they could ace a university-grade intelligence test and any charm thus accrued wouldn't survive the next mealtime.
So, bottom line: I take food out to them morning, noon and night. I manage to get most of it--most of it--into the trough without decorating their heads with it. Then I stand back and marvel at the relentlessness of the eating machine thus displayed. And I think about doing some eating of my own.
Does that make me a bad person?