Today I had to shoot a pig that was ill and had no chance of recovering. It was declining and suffering greatly, so putting it out of its misery was basically necessary.
It seems typical that this should happen during February, the most dismal month of the year. In February, winter continues its existance and often brings its strongest snowstorms. When it does get above freezing, the result is a muddy mess that lingers for weeks.
I hope nobody else has to shoot a pig, or anything for that matter, under such a situation in their lifetime. I actually felt almost nothing, however. I wouldn’t say I’m desensitized though. Living on a farm my entire life has helped me “be one with nature” for lack of a better description. I believe I recognize many of the complexities of nature through a type of farming that is sustainable. Our pigs are well cared for, and they are content. The same is true with our cattle. Our crops are grown in a way that builds up the soil instead of breaking it down.
February is short, and that is a relief. The coming March brings a reminder that hopelessness does not exist. We as a nation might be in the midst of an economic February at the moment. But just as we know that spring will come, we can look throughout history and discover that the economic hard times will not last forever.
You have to trust in God when you’re a farmer. Also, when you’re a banker. Or a teacher. Or a factory worker. Not everything is going to turn out the way you want it to, and sometimes all you can do is pray that it will soon be better. February never sticks around too long.