Should farm animals be named?
I have had a firm policy for the last few years of not naming animals that I am raising for meat as this has made it easier for me to deal with the loss of the animals.
Some people wonder how I can spend time raising and keeping animals when I know that they will end up as meat but I enjoy looking after animals and I enjoy eating meat from an animal that I know how it has been raised, what it has been fed and how it has been treated.
This year I have raised pigs for meat and I vowed that I would not name them as it would make it easier for me to deal with, however one of our neighbours wanted one of the pigs and decided to name her. From that moment, as I began to identify the pigs and see their personalities develop, I came up with names for them linked to their distinguishing features.
Juliet, Pinky, Rocky – White Stripe, Stumpelina, Perky, Lightening & Spot were all recognisable and although naming these pigs went against my policy of naming animals I am raising for meat I have to say that I do believe that these animals became much friendlier and easier to handle as I spoke to them.
Giving the pigs a name has helped me to bond with these curious and intelligent creatures. I have found that they have responded to their names and it was always the ones with a name that came to the pig stye door first or responded to my voice and this has made the experience of keeping and raising the pigs a much more memorable and enjoyable experience.
My sows are in pig again and I will certainly be naming my piglets again.
Let me know your thoughts about naming animals.