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Clutha Leader - - MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE AUCKLAND - RACHAEL KELLY

ev­ery­one to see.

In my neck of the woods, the killing of the farm pigs is a ful­lyfledged Sun­day ses­sion, and hunt­ing is just how we keep the freezer filled.

It’s no se­cret that the lambs and calves kids bot­tle feed end up on their plates.

The bloke, you see, deals with an­i­mals ev­ery day.

One of his more de­light­ful fea­tures is that as a stock truck driver he comes home whiff­ing of eau d’an­i­mal and is usu­ally cov­ered in cow, sheep or deer crap.

Such a glam­orous job.

As a full-fledged townie I once asked one of his mates if he felt any guilt about tak­ing an­i­mals off to be killed ev­ery day.

‘‘I’m tak­ing them to heaven,’’ was his re­ply.

Only a year af­ter mov­ing to the coun­try I was given the job of tak­ing pho­tos in­side a meat pro­cess­ing plant.

A visit to heaven?

Per­haps not.

I tend to think I was maybe given the job to see if I could han­dle it, rather than for my pho­tog­ra­phy skills.

But there was no back­ing out for me. I was de­ter­mined to do the job with­out get­ting girly or show- ing my true city-girl colours.

So there I was, in my freez­ing work whites and some­one else’s gum­boots, tak­ing pho­tos of an­i­mals be­ing butchered along the chain.

I kind of for­got the car­casses used to be stand­ing up­right in a pad­dock moo­ing, as I watched the bon­ers slic­ing and dic­ing. There’s some real skill to do­ing that and not sev­er­ing an artery.

My tour guide asked if I wanted to see the slaugh­ter room and a mor­bid fas­ci­na­tion took over.

Be­fore I knew it the bor­rowed gum­boots were stand­ing in a pool of blood as I watched bovines be­ing killed, hu­manely and with a min­i­mum of fuss.

I didn’t raise the cam­era to take pics, I just watched and took it all in.

Cripes, mum and dad aren’t go­ing to be­lieve I’ve done this.

I held onto my lunch and didn’t vow on the spot to be­come veg­e­tar­ian.

It didn’t faze me at all.

Per­haps there was hope for me as a coun­try girl yet.

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