"Thankfully, it was worth it, every last penny. Bacon this good deserves an altar. And as we savored it, piece by glistening piece, I developed a fantasy about actually saving the earth by eating pork so rich that you only really need a piece or so..."
That really made my evening!
As a pork producer, I feel we have a moral obligation to produce the best meat we possibly can. If someone is going to take their time to cook and eat some of our pork, it had better be worth it - where "it" means our work, the life and death of the animal, the customer's money and time spent selecting, buying and cooking the meat and the diner's eating of the meat.
Although we have in English the term "wasted meal", I have yet to hear of the term"wasted pig" - that is, a pig whose life is, due to humans raising them badly, essentially wasted. The goal of Wooly Pigs is to avoid ever producing a wasted pig.
It is very easy to make mistakes and ruin a pig with a little bad feed, a bit of pre-slaughter stress, bad slaughter, bad ripening, etc. This isn't commonly known in America - but is understood by producers who aim for the highest quality. For example, from this article about Spanish producers:
... His business proposal was straightforward: Transport the 350- to 400-pound pigs to Denmark, where they could be slaughtered in a USDA approved facility.One thing we noticed in Austria, when dealing with farmers who raise, slaughter and process their Mangalitsa at home is that they really know what not to do. If you talk to them, they'll tell you bitterly about how they killed a pig they'd been fattening, only to discover that they'd blown it by breaking the rules. E.g. they open up the pig and instead of finding white fat, they've got yellowish, soft runny fat unsuitable for curing.
But the companies scoffed at the suggestion. "They said the hogs would get stressed-out and thirsty, and that would be bad for the ham," Tim Harris says.
Both Spanish companies say a long truck ride would cause the pigs' adrenaline levels to surge, which could affect the flavor of the meat...
Such mistakes hurt so much that the producers refuse to do things that they know will ruin the meat - like those Spanish producers refusing to make some easy money by ruining their pigs on the last day of their long lives.