Friends from Mérida are visiting Oaxaca, so today we visited the the weekly market in Zaachila. Even though this is where I shop for food, I've never ventured into the huge, busy animal section of the market. That situation was remedied today.
It's a sea of people.
Some serious bargaining goes on.
Waiting in the shade for customers.
And catching up with friends amid the bustle.
Need tack for your new horse or donkey?
Don't be shy. Step up and choose.
If you don't mind the scent of droppings, there are several little eateries in a row.
The altar is at the end of the row of food stalls.
The first animals we saw on arriving at the animal market were pigs -- pigs being herded and swatted, and another pig that had been bought & was being dragged away squealing piteously, little cloven hooves attempting to clutch the ground. Although I'd just enjoyed some excellent pork tacos, I could feel an attack of vegetarianism coming on.
Sorry, Imec! I totally missed seeing your post yesterday.
No butchery goes on there, just buying & selling. You made me think about something, too. There were bunches of young pigs there, but no baby pigs. Come to think of it, I don't think suckling pig is part of the food canon here.
From looking at what goes on, I think it's all small-scale commerce, although I imagine there must be deals made on a larger scale. Maybe people come looking to connect with someone who has an entire herd to buy or sell.
As you can see in the photos, the participants are rural people dealing in a few animals. And except for the pigs, none of the animals seem very well cared for or fattened.
One of the many beefs (so to speak) I had with my ex-landlord was that he kept putting animals (bulls, mules, horses, donkeys) in the field behind my house. There was no shelter from sun or rain there, and he never gave them any water, claiming they don't need it. This meant my dragging five-gallon buckets out to the poor animals. Five gallons of water is nothing to a thirsty donkey. When I asked how long a donkey lived, the l.l. told me @ 10 or 15 years. This page says 30 to 50 years, and simply scanning it tells you how awful life must be for a poor rural person's donkey.