Happiness is Pig shaped

See that fella there, he's a happy soul.

He has acres in which to run around, shelter whenever he needs it, good quality natural feed , lots of buddies and more mud than you can shake a stick at. A true free ranger.

My friends Marlene and Gary raise pigs to the highest welfare standards. Their farm, Le Sechoir (translates as The Dryer, it's short for a tobacco drying barn) is a perfect environment which together with high level pig husbandry makes for happy animals. They rear a number of breeds including some older and relatively rare English such as Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot .

The 'free range' equivalent in France is 'Label Rouge', an internationally respected accreditation which vigorously inspects quality, taste and welfare. It originated as a grassroots movement in the 1960's as a reaction against ever increasing intensive poultry farming methods. Led by farmers from the regions of the Landes and the Perigord , it was a speciality movement which grew and grew as French consumers demanded the taste of traditionally raised farm chicken. The accreditation now covers all meat.

Located in a little village called Campagne just a few miles from Les Eyzies, Le Sechoir sits opposite a beautiful 15th century chateau which together with its 12th century chapel gives the best view a farmer could wish for. As the old estate agent mantra goes, location, location, location.


  1. That is such a wonderful picture Rob. I don't know any pigs (at least of the animal kind!) but he does look happy.

  2. Even French pigs are cute! :-)

    I'd love to wake up to a view of ancient castle and chapel everyday. Ah, France! Soon, soon.

    PS Regarding the rabbits at CDG, I don't know if that is still a problem. I believe it was around 1992 when I saw all of those rabbits near the runways. There are still old stories dated around 1996 on the web.

  3. I showed Last-Born your pig post and she drooled ......she LONGS for a pig of her own up the garden(and wants to call it Peefer!), but I'm not sure what our neighbours or the local council would make of it - and our view isn't as good!
    She does have a couple of pigs in South America care of Christian Aid, but she says it's not the same!

  4. Hi Hermes, Cameron and Nutty Gnome,

    I was pleased with the piggy pic, I just said smile for the camera and hey presto!

  5. What a cooool pig and ge does look very happy!

  6. Oh what a glorious pig and what a fine dwelling place :)

  7. You are indeed lucky to live in a country which appreciates the fine arts of standard-setting and promulgation of grassroots efforts. I'm familiar with that French sophistication with regard to AFNOR standards for essential oils. I find it interesting that those standards are not government mandates crammed down producers' or consumers' throats. At least the French people are not treated as if they are incapable of making rational decisions for their own health and well-being. Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

  8. What a charming fella ;)

    Unfortunately I live in a country where nobody seems to care about happy souls of any range.
    I'd be lucky if I knew that they had lived a better life than what I know most of them do :(

  9. Wonderful photo of that pig, looks like a stuffed (did I say stuffed?) animal. I'll be back to read more later.


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