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Columnist criticizing ‘hog killin’’ over the top

Published 12:04pm 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

  • barney1

    Thank you for writing this article. Hog killings were not only a yearly tradition that provided many products used all year long, it also brought family and neighbors together helping each other and sharing in the bountiful harvest God provided.

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  • FromHere

    Well, I missed all this. Who on earth had a problem with “hog killing”. When I grew up, that’s what kept us from starving . . . that and what meat was hunted or fished. Some people need to get a life.

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  • JDHowell

    Mr. Magette

    Thanks for taking the time and putting forth the effort to write the letter. Thanks for your kind comments.

    I recognize Ms. Perna’s difference of opinion, but was a little surprised at the vehemence of her article. I can certainly live with differences.

    My years on the farm were decidedly different from modern childhood, even on a modern farm. The totality of the way of life then is different and cannot be duplicated today.

    Maybe I’ll see you at Heritage Day this fall. I hope to be there.

    Kindest regards


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  • beachgirl

    I NEVER read those guest articles, because I find them BORING….I put articles like that in the same loop with the biggest Gourd or the oddest looking Radish…or someone pointing at a worm…BORING

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    • JDHowell


      Yes, I can certainly understand. And I’m not likely to get any more interesting or exciting.

      Different strokes…

      Kindest regards


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  • employee2

    Thank you for writing this. I hate when an attack is wrongly based. There are articles in the TN that I choose not to read because it doesn’t interest me. Viewpoint/opinion articles may invite differing points of view, but describing things of the past do not warrant attacks.

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  • Typhoon

    Excellent letter I am sure Sue and Mak are working real hard to send in comments to this.

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