There are a lot of shocking things about meat. Sometimes I find that the most shocking thing about meat to people is that meat is actually made of dead animals! Crazy right? Sorry for my sarcasm, but I do seriously think we maintain a cognitive dissonance between the animals we see and the meat we eat.
One of the problems with our current food system is that there is this real disconnect with where our food comes from. The same person who would squeal if they saw a farmer shoot a cow can easily buy packages of ground beef at the grocery store...or a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts...or fish fillets. While we understand what meat is in a cerebral way, we don’t really understand what that means. We don’t equate a dead, bleeding animal with this delicious looking meal on our plate. We literally and figuratively remove the life from our food.
Hunting wild animals for food used to be a part of everyday life – for some it still is. Hunting may not be for everyone, but it’s a part of our lives. Hunting is simply harvesting wild food, and we only harvest what our family will eat.
|my great-grandmother in the early 1900s|
Tony hunts for deer and elk every year – one deer and one elk will put enough meat in the freezer to feed our family for a whole year and be able to share some with family and friends.
|Tony got a buck yesterday morning|
Hunting for our own food also gives us peace of mind that the meat in our freezer has not been tainted by antibiotics, artificial hormones, pesticides, herbicides, or unnatural feeds that are not needed and are possibly harmful.
To hunt and butcher an animal is to recognize that meat is not some abstract form of protein that springs into existence at the grocery store tightly wrapped in cellophane and styrofoam. Meat is life. It still astounds me how many people actually believe that the meat they buy at the grocery store...is just meat at the grocery store. They forget or choose to forget where it really came from – a living breathing animal. In order to appreciate that big slice of steak on your plate, I think you need to also know and appreciate where it came from.