Columnist criticizing ‘hog killin’’ over the top

Published 12:04 pm Saturday, March 2, 2013

To the Editor:

Although I usually read Archie Howell’s columns with great interest, I had not read the one about hog killing (“A day of hog killin’ on Southampton County farm,” Feb. 16) that was the subject of concern expressed in a Feb. 24 guest column (“Hog killin’ column — really”).

The strong criticisms expressed in this guest column led me to retrieve the column by Archie and read it.

What Archie is relating to us is simply the way things were done out of necessity on most farms 55 to 65 years ago.

As a person who grew up in town, I did not experience all of the events described in some of his columns, but find them very interesting and informative.

Recently, I heard two brothers, age 77 and 82, describing how important “hog killing” time was on their farm. They never got to eat the pork chops and hams. Their father would take these to Emporia to barter for things that they could not produce on the farm.

In exchange, they could get sugar, salt, pepper, cloth, nails, etc.

Back then, most farmers raised chickens, hogs and some cows. These were essential to survival on the farm.

Good farmers had to be very resourceful to make a living. Little has changed today.

I have appreciated Archie’s columns about his early years growing up on a farm in Southampton County and I hope he continues to share his recollections with us through The Tidewater News.

If you do not know and understand the past, how can you expect to effectively guide us to a different way of doing things?

For those who choose not to eat real meat or who are advocates for animal rights, I respect your views and your right to express them.

However, to some of us old-timers, you carry things too far in seeking to make change.

I seriously doubt that there will be any killing of animals in the privacy of our barns, or elsewhere, as a result Archie’s column. Isn’t this a little over the top?
Kindred P. Magette