There is a good reason that in days past small farmers (and/or homesteaders) were mulit-generational. I am not old by any means, but as I slaughtered a 300 pound pig this morning, virtually by myself, I saw my limitations in stark relief. I don't know if I have ever killed a hog by myself until today. It has always been a community activity at our place - either the community of just our family or joined friends (and brief acquaintances).
Historically and culturally in the South (at least) hog-killing has been a community activity. And there is great reasons: for one, a 300 pound hog is heavy. For another, why process a 300 pound hog if there is no community to share it with?
With the advent of the industrial revolution, not only did the young leave the homesteads and farms for cash jobs, but machinery was created so that people could do things with less help - less community.
We don't have machinery like tractors to lift and move the hog (although I did drag it with a chain and my pick-up truck to our "cleaning" station.) But even if we did, I would have missed the community. By the end, my daughter and young son did come to help, and I felt the community restored. But for an hour or so I was by myself and wondered why.
Oremus pro invicem!