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We try to find a good use for every single inch of the farm (we’ll never make our goal of becoming biodynamic if we don’t)

For many years prior to the renovation of the Beekman Mansion, the land and barn was used to raise cattle, and on the eastern side of the barn stood a statuesque grain silo.  The structure is long gone, but it’s 5 foot tall foundation remains.

For the two years that we’ve been on the farm, we’ve been using the structure as the world’s largest compost bin.  Into it we chuck almost anything that’s biodegradable:  table scraps, leaves, prisoners of our weed wars, and of course the “leftovers” of the rabbits, cows, chickens, turkeys and goats.  It’s the darkest, richest, most worm-infested muck you can imagine.

But could we do something more?  Could we find a dual purpose for the structure?

If necessity is not the mother of all invention, then surely Farmer John is.

When we started talking over the winter about raising pigs to supplement our diets (sorry, but we do love bacon–and don’t try to tell us you don’t), we were pondering about where we might keep them.  The chateau d’goats is already fully occupied and was not really well-equipped for pigs.

Farmer John said that pigs like room to roam and like to be outside.  Why don’t we put them in the silo?

It was pure genius.

Bessie, our environmentalist pig
Bess, our environmentalist pig

The Beekman pigs are eco-friendly.  Pigs like to root around in the dirt looking for grubs and other tasty morsels.  (We are hoping they find some truffles but are not really counting on it).   As they make their way around the silo, they are constantly turning our compost pile for us.  It’s a division of labor that everyone seems happy with.

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Porky & Bess love their new home.

We created a nice little love nest using old shutters we salvaged from the hay loft.  Every  morning when I go out to feed them, Porky & Bess are curled up there together.  Of course, they perk right up when I yell “soo-ey”—or when they hear their food hit the trough–I’m not quite sure which.  I do know that no living thing has ever looked at me with such love in their eyes as Porky and Bess do come feeding time.

They must have gained at least 15lb just while I was typing this.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Judy Muellner

I was saddened to learn you kill/eat your pigs. It sounded like they were pets. I can no longer look at their photos knowing their fate. And no, quite frankly, I do not like the taste or smell of bacon. Nor would I ever eat it. Or any other animal. They want to live just as much as we do.

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tabitha

I work at a very well known organic grocery store and I have always been passionate about local organic farming and animal compassion. and after seeing the episode of porky and bess opened my eyes even more. i’m happy that you gave them the life that they deserved and treated them with kindness and respect. Just to let you know i balled like a baby.

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Stephanie Birdsong

OK, so people eat meat, and I suppose this was done more kindly than the typical horror that billions of creatures go through each year. You had the right idea that treating the animals well during their lives was honorable. Unfortunately, their end just doesn’t square with this. It never does. You guys are a step forward, but we have a long way to go. I wonder if you enjoyed the bacon more than Porky and Bess enjoyed living? Somehow, we’ve concluded that our pleasure is worth indulging at whatever the cost to the other inhabitants of our mutual planet. I’ve begun to seriously question this notion at last. Better late than never.

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Anna

Sorry, just read Josh's new book. Love the story and answered my own question.

Sorry for my naivete…

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Anna

LOVE Porky and Bess!!!~ They are so cute, and must be good meals since they were fed with good food and love. Just curious that you didn't try to continue raising them and breeding them?

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Judy

Somewhere I heard the statistic that 98% of Americans are 4 to 5 generations removed from farming.

I have the good fortune to be able to raise my own beef, poultry, and goats for meat and trade some of them for lamb. I have berries, apple and pear trees and try to raise and can as many of my vegetables as possible or purchase from local farmers through the farmers markets or CSA’s. I drink goat milk or cow’s milk when I have does and cows in milk. Or I purchase the raw milk from local certified dairies. My cheese making skills are greatly lacking; I can make chevre and yogurt. But I make really good butter.

To the vegans and vegetarians, I don’t tell you that you must eat meat. Please don’t tell me that I must become a vegan or vegetarian. As to the shoe, belt and handbag debate, tell me how your petro-chemical uppers and soles are so much better for the environment.

P.S. Rubber boots rule!

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Lesley

Hi Josh and Dr. Brent,

I recently read your book and fell in love with everything about it, and was so excited to snag your show on my TiVo!

I hadn't watched an episode before today and just saw the piggies episode. I truly felt for you guys and I'm sad that a lot of the comments have been so accusatory.

I was sitting here wiping my eyes with a paper towel babbling like a baby when 'the time' came. I was thinking "maybe they'll have a last minute change and not do it!" but I realized it was important that you followed through, and it gave a real view into what it's like to be a farmer, and what it's like to truly appreciate your food.

It's like the tomatoes incident I read in your book, with Josh feverishly canning like a madman to prevent them from going to waste. Or how sad it was when the birds were unintentionally trapped in the cherry trees, etc. Everything is a lesson in appreciation and respect.

It made me re-think the chicken breasts I have in my freezer that I just bought on sale at the grocery store. And hamburgers from the golden arches, as delicious as they are. For a moment, it made me rethink meat, but I don't think I could make that transition (yet, anyway). I think you were both very brave to go through with it and to share that experience with your audience.

Of course not everyone is going to respond well to it, but that's the nature of something controversial and thought-provoking. This episode has made me really think more about the meat I eat and where it comes from, and is pushing me to want to seek alternate, locally-raised sources. I don't know that if I were a farmer if I would have the bravery to go forward with my own livestock like you did, but perhaps in my own small way I can adopt a greater appreciation and respect for livestock by choosing to purchase less meat overall, and meat from more humane sources.

I think you guys are just great. And I completely got your message. I hope this episode has made other people think and learn and not just close it out or judge it without really looking into the message.

– Lesley 🙂

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Tiffany

I can't say I loved the episode but I loved the message. My husband and I are city folk (L.A.) who live on a little mini farm in Oregon. I was a octo-lacto veg (I didn't eat anything with a face) when I met my husband 17 yrs ago and over the years started eating meat. I lived for years without bacon and now I love it (hate myself, but its yummy). Anyway, my husband was thoroughly shocked that I would watch this episode and he couldn't do it- it was too much for him. It started a huge debate and I think he echoes the same hypocrisy that most folks who are giving you a hard time are spouting. As long as they don't have to see it and its all nicely packaged, they'll eat it or feed it to their pets or whatever. Its like as long as its processed by someone else its okay. I too, fall into that category as I have two roosters that drive me insane that I couldn't possibly eat (thought about it several times at 4 am) but they're my babies. I liked the message though and I think a lot more about what I buy and what I eat because of it. Thank you guys for sharing such an emotional part of farm life and a reminder to think about where our food comes from!

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Victoria

Actually Susan, I never said it was "o.k." to kill anything.

If given a choice between feeding cats shrimp or pigs, yes shrimp is more humane, since pigs and other farm animals are as intelligent, emotional, and aware as a dog, and shrimp is not.

The best,and most humane, choice however would be to feed cats and dogs a vegetarian diet, which exists, that is made from eggs, cheese, milk, etc. which had the animal protein, without having to sacrifice the animal.

I have fed my past cats that diet, and they thrived. The only reason I feed my current cats sea food based diet is because they don't like the other.

I was making a friendly observation, and sharing my experience with you. There was no need for your judgmental words, for my were not.

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Susan Pearson

Clams, shrimp, tuna, etc are living creatures too. Why do you think it's okay to kill them? The pigs were killed humanely, probably more so than the tuna.

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Victoria Englert

Regarding Susan Pearson's oomment:

I'm Vegan. I, and most vegans I'm aware of feed their cats a seafood based diet, clams, shrimp, tuna etc.

Cows, pigs, chickens, and lambs do not have to be killed for cat food.

I use Trader Joes "Tuna For Cats" brand natural cat food that is amazing, and more humane then the raw diet.

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Victoria Englert

Regarding Susan Pearson's oomment:

I'm Vegan. I, and most vegans I'm aware of feed their cats a seafood based diet, clams, shrimp, tuna etc.

Cows, pigs, chickens, and lambs do not have to be killed for cat food.

I use Trader Joes "Tuna For Cats" brand natural cat food that is amazing, and more human then the raw diet.

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Susan Pearson

I have a vegan friend who was trying out the BARF (raw foods) diet on her cats. I asked her why they weren't vegetarians and she said that cats needed meat to be healthy. That got me to wondering, if we were to stop killing animals for food, how would we feed our pets? Are we supposed to give those up too? I can't give up meat, so the best I can do is support those who raise animals humanely.

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Beverliey of BALMORA

OK I read all the nonsense and got suckered into this debate !

It is kind of simple people GROW UP & GROW A SET !!!

If you are watching a TV show and it offends you change channels. If you are a Vegan good for you ! If you eat meat

hopefully it is not from a factory hello it is 2010 wake up !

Brent & Josh can do whatever they want as long as it is legal

they are making choices like all the rest of us ! If you do not like

the laws contact your politicians and try to make changes.

However in the rest of your life socially in business while

talking or texting take some sage old advice…..

If you have nothing nice to say …. you know how this ends !

Love the show- the farm -the mercantile!

Give these guys credit for trying to carve out a decent life and

sharing it with all of us !

xoxo Beverliey

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Beverliey of BALMORA

I posted the above comment without reading the other blogs

I do not want to really be a part of the whole Vegan versus

Meat & Potato Man debate ! I believe we are all here on this earth for a very short – way too short time and each of us should make informed choices as we move through our little individual lives

but none of us should impose our values or choices on others!

Quietly make a difference no pomp & ceremony required !

Go forward with GRACE !

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Beverliey of BALMORA

Oh my god those pigs are so cute ! I once asked a friend of mine

why she did not eat pork and she is christian so kosher was not

the issue she said that as a child at the farm she grew up on

when they were about to slaughter the pigs she saw tears on

their little faces and since she knew how smart they are and loving she could not bare to eat such wonderful creatures !

Just a thought, I know how delicious bacon is but….

why do we eat other feeling creatures ? it is kind of wacky ?

I think I will have to consider giving up meat ? it is a wee bit draconian !

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Victoria

Dear Beekman boys,

I being a Vegetarian and animal rights advocate, I hope to perhaps shed some light on why you are getting so many negative comments pertaining to choosing to "harvest" animals for food.

I agree that humane family farm practices are better than agribusiness, which is cruel to the animals and pollutes the environment, and I don't believe those viewers disagree with that fact. But this is the green channel, not the food channel.

Just like environmentalism is a progressive way of thinking ,and only recently embraced by society, animal rights, is also a progressive way of thinking. Not long ago environmentalist were name called "tree huggers" and sneered at. I see that kind of prejudice, and childish name calling here.

Simply put, I don't believe they disagree with sustainability, when compared to mass agriculture, they perhaps expected an ideally, truly progressive example of environmental farming from the show. And I admit I did too.

Hope this helps,

sincerely,

Victoria.

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Tammie

Hello Josh and Brent,

First of all I just wanted to say that you guys are awesome. I have never commented online before but WOW!!! What you two have and are doing with your lives is outstanding.

I have read some of the comments from all areas of your website and it seems some people dont understand where there food comes from if either a store or restraunt. They dont understand how it is raised or grown let alone who has touched it, spit on it, sneezed on it or any other body function!!!! and YES it happens. I have been in the food service before and know what some people will do. Have you ever seen people at a buffet OMG not a pretty site at all. Next time you go out to eat….WATCH! Weather you are a meat eater or not things still happen to your food before you put it in your mouth.

I want to say sorry to you two for the people that have been commenting badly…If they were born 100 years ago they wouldnt be this way they wouldnt know the difference. They too would be living on a farm and raising their own food and even have better manners.

Take care….laugh and love as much as possible! Tammie

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Cyn

Just wanted to say that I think Connie has summed it all up beautifully.

I just watched the show about the baby goats, and I cried when John did! What a perfect name, too! Hallelujah!

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Tricia

I just wanted to add that if you like crispy bacon Morning Star bacon tastes amazing my little cousin (who is a meat eater) prefers it to real bacon. You have to cook it right though. In the oven with a little oil comes out crispy and delicious. Morning star makes good hot dogs too.

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Gina

I will try morning star bacon. I stopped eating pork years ago and am now going to eliminate beef.

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Tricia

I was very careful to not name call but I will agree it was insulting. Anyhow after having actually viewed the episode myself I do believe I owe you an apology. As a full fledged member of PETA and animal activist the episode was very tastefully done. I am a vegetarian so I believe its not necessary to kill animals. However if you are going to eat meat I think that you should be aware of where it comes from and respect that animal. You two were not cowering in the corner as I had imagined you were man enough to watch the whole time. The animals were treated with respect and compassion to be slaughtered for food. Not as pets how I had imagined. I have such a problem with people being ignorant about animal right issues and trying to argue them (ahem above me) yet I was the one being ignorant for judging you without watching the episode. I still disagree with killing animals for food. However if you must eat meat then you should eat it responsibly. As one of you said that animal's life is worth more then the dollar menu. Please know that what I wrote earlier was out of ignorance and I am sorry. Thank you for having the courage to do that episode and you can for sure count on me to be purchasing some cheese in the near future!

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Connie Wedding

I want to thank you for the episode about killing Porky and Bess for the meat, as I am sure it taught MANY people to appreciate and think about where their food comes from,including me.

I sat there and cried like a baby, and I felt your pain, and I know it was hard. It was hard for me, too, but you had taken good care of them for so long and were there in person for it, which I admire. I know it affected you guys and that it was not at all easy. Most of all, I KNOW it was necessary, and that it is what they were put on this earth for. It pains me that you are getting so many mean posts from people who are speaking just from their hearts, not with their minds.

The world would be over-run if no animals were ever killed for food, and they would die long, agonizing deaths from starvation, as there would not be enough food to go around for them. You have to keep the populations down. We can't have them sterilized and make pets of them and then they become extinct, or turn them out to just roam around on their own and starve…. and what else would they have you do with pigs if not kill them for food? They are just not thinking it through, they are only thinking short term.

So what would the people telling you not to kill pigs and other animals have you do, if they really sat down and thought it all out and knew what they were talking about?? I'd love to hear their solution to the problem of the deer, elk, ducks, cows, turkeys, chickens, pig, etc populations that would be over-taking the world. I don't imagine we will hear much out of them about that, as they only want to rant and vent and be done with it.

Porky and Bess didn't know what was going to happen or what was going on, and did not even have time for pain to register after the bullet hit them in the head. Instantaneous, and much more humane compared to the way most pigs and other food animals are raised for the masses.

You gave them a good life, and then you humanely had them killed, and they served their purpose. You two were affected by it a lot more than the pigs were. It was over in a fraction of a second for them. They didn't know a thing. People shouldn't try to act like farm animals have human emotions and can think things out and have the intelligence of humans, and feel the same love and emotions as humans. They are displacing their own emotions onto the animal and assuming it has the same emotions. Certain animals were created for food, and that's just the way it is. It's not like you are just killing them for the heck of it.

If they want to really do some good, they should go after the ones that neglect and abuse animals, or the puppy-mills, not humane farmers that are trying to set an example of how things should change to HELP the animals. You showed how it SHOULD be done. They should stop running their mouths (and fingers) and go volunteer at dog/cat shelters….feed them, play with them, walk them, brush them, bathe them, and just love them, or help find homes for them and get them spayed and neutered, or at least give a donation. DO SOME GOOD. Oh, but they don't care THAT much, I bet! Oh, HELL no! Not nearly enough to put their time or money where their mouth is!

And the hypocrites are probably eating meat right along with the rest of us, and wearing leather shoes, boots, belts, coats, and jackets….and sitting on their leather car seats, leather couches, saddles, and carrying leather purses. Where do you people think that leather comes from?? Not a cow that died a natural death, that's for sure! How many of you ladies out there that jumped on Brent and Josh have a big collection of shoes or purses or both in your closet?? 'Fess up! I have a feeling nearly ALL of you, and I doubt that they are all canvas sneakers! And how many of you men have trucks or cars with leather seats?…and don't you just love those leather jackets that make you look cool?….and what the hell do you think is holding your pants up??? Not a rope, I don't imagine! Hypocrites! Animals can die for you to wear them, and sit on them, but not for food??? They are meant for ALL of that!

THINK before you judge others, all you people that have been giving Josh and Brent hell for doing what farmers are supposed to do. You should be grateful that they did it in a humane way and that they appreciate their meat more because of it. Go after the CRUEL ones if you want to preach! There is NOTHING I hate more than someone who abuses or neglects an animal or kills them just for their own sick and twisted thrill, and THOSE are the ones you need to worry about stopping, not Josh and Brent! They have done NOTHING wrong, unless you consider setting a good example WRONG.

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Tara

Hi! Have been watching your show for several weeks and have to say "Bravo" to you for what you are doing. Raising your animals with love and kindness, and if harvesting them, doing it in the most humane fashion. My family are hunters and fishers. We raise a garden, and I have a flock of approximately 30 chickens. We use the eggs and also sell them at our family owned feed store. Today I made my first batch of goat cheese(chevre and ricotta) and have cream clotting for butter as well. We are also making red wine from wild grapes and I have, in the past made candles and soaps. Your show is wonderful and wish you much success. Keep up the good work and may you be profitable, happy and self sustaining!

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Carson City

I'm so sad about Porky and Bess. I can't believe you killed them.

You could have lived without eating those pigs — creatures that trusted and loved you and came to you when you called them by name!

I really viewed this episode as a selfish experiment on your part.

Honestly, what were you thinking?

If I don't appreciate people, should I kill them?

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Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Tricia, your response wasn't deleted because we disagree with you. It was deleted because you made your argument by name-calling and insults. There are others who made your same points in a more civil manner. We tend not to take advice on how to treat our animals from people who treat fellow humans in such a derogatory manner.

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Frances Cope

I have just watched the first episode of your show to be broadcast here in Sydney (Oz); I enjoyed it very much, and was interested to read the comments above.I wonder how many of the writers are vegan? I understand that most beef in America is raised under the most appalling, cruel condtions in feed lots,(ref Michael Pollan, The Omnivores Dilemma) and that this is the cheap meat sold in American supermarkets which many of your correspondents recommend you eat, rather than what you have raised. In my childhood it was common that many back gardens in the suburbs of Sydney raised hens for eggs and food. We raised hens from hatching to the table. How much better were their lives than those of battery hens, battery pigs, feed lot beef? Raising and even loving your protein gives you the right to eat it. I love pigs, so I only eat free range organic bacon and pork, and the same for hens, beef and lamb. Thanks for a great show. (But never name your food!)

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Jess

People who recommend that animals stop being killed for meat are unknowingly advocating for the extinction of many breeds of animals. Domesticated farm animals were breed to live (and yes, die) on farms, not in the wild. They are dependent on people to care for them and I don't know of many people who would keep a cow, for example, for a pet just because it is cute. Generally you have a cow to get something back- milk, meat, and/or more cows. There are just too many expenses for these animals to be pets and cared for correctly. These animals would simply stop being bred by people and would disappear (die off because most foraging instincts were bred out of them or would interbreed and characteristics of their breed would be lost). So, let's not forget that these breeds of animals were created by people for specific traits (milk, meat, eggs, fiber, etc.).

By the way, an animal is not falsely lead into believing that it is a pet because it has a name. The pigs didn't have a false sense of security because they had names- it was the people watching who had the issue.

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Patti

I believe Dr Brent you will hear all the negativity even though there are many this summer that will be having or possibly attending a "pig roast" and/or "lamb roast" or two. I don't believe any of my neighbors were receiving hate mail or being hounded by their friends about their choice of dinner nor will there be any restaurants being hounded because they serve steak or bacon. The fact is whether you had 2 animals "put down" for your food source on your farm -as I am sure there are countless other farms in the same predicament-and,no one hears of it because they just don't post about their daily lives. Or the factories that are inhumanely killing animals (others not so inhumanely, although, in the end it's death) the fact remains it is a FOOD SOURCE and it has been one for people for centuries, how it is handled can be changed but I doubt that the entire planet will become vegetarians and let animals over populate the land, allowing only animals to kill each other.I just think some of these negative comments-as well as they were intended for the animal, are forgetting about you- as a person-that you intended them for a food source from the beginning. You followed through as planned. This was not something you hid from the public-you did say over a year ago it was your intention. You followed through on an experience on the farm, your word with giving them a loving home and a happy life. Odd how the written word has been ignored when it was stated here long ago. You did not do anything other than what "farmers have done and are still doing." Had you held onto those little guys till they were so large they were unable to physically feed themselves and either they began to starve out of pure inability to feed themselves or their offspring in competing for the food began to eat it all to be the survivors, you would have had to deal with others saying how you were letting them die a slow and horrible death and how could that be perceived as the happy life you promised? I still strongly believe as gentlemen you had honored your word.. No hidden agenda, no lies, just truth and open honest "blogging" about your farm life experiences, and it should be something people can learn from. What we all can learn from coming from different walks of life and the decisions that need to be made daily to survive and pay the bills. This is truly a lifestyle out of the average and it opens up a learning experience as to how others live with because it isn't very easy to live that way of life.. In some parts of the world they eat ants, grubs, bats. Is it wrong in those areas to inhumanely pick up grubs unknowingly and just eat them right from the ground? No warning, just an uncalled for death out of no where… I highly doubt there will be a group of people fighting for the rights of all the dead grubs and ants that were eaten alive right from where they were living, bats caught and taken against their will, and I don't think there will be any groups wanting to fight for the inhumane treatment of all the scorpions eaten, as well as other things that had their lives taken from them in the name of feeding people. Good luck with this it seems for each one that tries to side for you, you get about 10 against. I go by Maslovs Law, I do believe in "survival" feelings are the strongest in humans, and I do think when it comes to living a person will do what they have to do to help themselves and family to survive with out thinking out side of the instinct of trying to get what they need.. I am sure if a vegetarian had nothing to eat but a chicken sandwich- and there were no other kinds of food around, I have a feeling that they would come around. I also do KNOW a person that was a vegetarian for over 30 yrs and her husband slipped her a hotdog that she thought was a "vegan" one, and while eating this lovely BEEF hotdog couldn't help but sing the praises of how it was the BEST one she ever had.. After discovering that her husband seemed to have mixed the dogs up and she ate the BEEF, she never went back. 😀 I still don't think you did wrong – I think maybe we do wrong and possibly if we know all the beef in our supermarkets are going to go bad and its not selling why not give it away to the poor that can cook it up and not waste it.. send it to charitable institutions so it can be used before its left for waste. My problem is a death for nothing, when it is totally wasted. Not an animal that dies and then it nurtures, that is a good thing. but one that has given their life and because the price is to high for the consumers it lays on a shelf till it is thrown a way. That is what I don't like and am against… The animals death that was all for nothing and it was a waste, especially knowing we do have people out there that are malnourished or starving.

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Nanc

I don't get the whole issue with eating things that have a 'name,' as if giving an animal a proper name makes it a pet or anthropomorphizes it. I name all of my sheep because a name is easier to remember than a number. Would y'all who are accusing Brent and Josh of killing their pets (and suggesting they eat dog next) feel better if they had butchered #7 and #12A instead of Porky and Bess? I agree with Brent that there is love and respect in naming an animal, even one you plan to harvest for meat. Give me that love and respect any day over the conditions that the typical confinement hog operation maintains. If you'd ever visited a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation), be it hog, chicken, or beef, you'd have more appreciation for what Josh and Brent are trying to do here. I appreciate their honesty and their transparency in sharing the pig story with us.

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Tom

With all that has been said and done about the pig slaughter, I believe Kirk has summed up the entire situation to a tee. It is not the fact that the pigs were slaughtered for food, it is the fact that they had been named and were looked upon as pets. To have a hit put out on them is just wrong. It was very painful to see the guys with their guns come over to kill those pigs. I still do not watch the Beekman boys anymore because of the way the pig slaughter was handled.

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Tom

We loved and respected our animals throughout their lives. Part of the way we expressed that love was by naming them and caring for them the same way we would treat any other animal on the farm. We are very sorry that your sensibilities were offended. You are the one missing out on the opportunity to learn and discuss further issues

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Kirk

I have to tell you growing up in the midwest on my grandparents farm it was not easy seeing animals taken off to slaughter> Your show in which Porky and Bess are slaughtered was painful, I only hope that in the future if you have more pigs, do not have them as pets or name them please, much to painful to watch. Ps I do like bacon but try not to think much about where it comes from.

greetings from omaha

Kirk

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Namiko

I had a very hard time watching this as well, but something Brent said near the end summed my feelings up nicely: he said something to the effect that he would never order a 99 cent burger again, because the life of an animal is worth more than a dollar menu. No one who saw the episode can say that Brent and Josh enjoyed the slaughter, and they made themselves watch because it's an important and non-negotiable part of living in a self-sustaining environment. It was a tough but thoughtful show and sensitively done, considering the circumstances.

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Barbara

I think that showing the whole cycle of pig to bacon causes people to think. Hopefuly it cause some of the people who watched to appreciate the life that think about the welfare of the animals and the folks who process them. I enjoy meat but I also try to buy sustainably farmed and humanely processed as much as possible. My local farmers market sells organic and mostly pasture raised chicken, beef, pork and lamb. There are also organic live fish( they will kill them humnely but you have to do your own cleaning at home). There is a huge difference in taste and I think a big part of it is how the animals and fish are raised. I appriciate that the meat/fish I eat was once alive and am more grateful for it.

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David de Wind

I have been so torn about the "Porky and Bess" episode. I saw the teasers for it all week and debated if I was going to watch. I did. Tears and all. I have 3 dogs, 2 cats and am enrolled in an animal behavioral college in hopes to get a degree in order to donate my time and services to dog rescue. I am a HUGE animal lover. But … I eat meat, I wear leather and at one time owned a fur coat ( a beautiful sheared beaver that was …. anyway … ). I struggle everyday with each and every one of these choices I have decided to make. I want to thank the Beekman Boys for easing my conscious. And that I have a choice. I can choose to drive to the local "Super"market and buy meat from tortured and mistreated animals that have never seen the light from a morning sunrise or have never felt the grass under their feet (hoofs). Or I can chose to buy my meat from a local humane farmer that allows his heard to roam and graze like nature intended.

I tried the vegan way and it was not for me, my inner Omnivore always gets the best of me. As far as I'm concerned I can have my meat and eat it too, with compassion.

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Kat

I too found that I can no longer watch the show. I had such high hopes that it would just be about the growing of crops and caring for goats, but the slaughtering of the two beautiful pigs was too much. My sister was in tears, asking me why I made her watch such a horrible show and I had to fast forward past the brutal murder. But even skipping the killing wasn't enough, because to watch you eat your bacon afterward was just about as bad. It's just the ultimate in selfishness to kill animals for food. Humans do not need meat to survive – our bodies aren't even built to hunt and kill prey. All the talk of "happy" meat, free range, able to live these great lives before they are killed – it's all just justification for continuing our selfish lifestyles. And if meat was so good, why do we have to smoke it, marinate it, rub it, tenderize it, and otherwise add stuff to make it taste good? It's just how we have been conditioned to eat. It's just not necessary.

I know there are people who think it's all part of the food chain, but we could all live happier, healthier lives filled with compassion we never knew existed if we stopped killing animals for food. Give it a shot – you'll see.

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david

Jess,

I am fully aware that it is impossible to leave the house without stepping on a bug etc.. I was not trying to promote tomatoes or cucumbers, I was simply making a comparison. The simple fact is this, watching them raise and take care of those pigs and then kill them was really creepy. No enviromental argument from me, it was simply creepy.

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