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Do You, Personally, Kill Your Own Meat?

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  • Do You, Personally, Kill Your Own Meat?

    You have the dubious honor of meeting someone who has never killed dinner. I have never caught a fish, even though I have been to a few fishing holes here and there. I have never shot a gun - it just didn't come up as a kid and as an adult I was veg for a good stretch. I have witnessed my old-fashioned Oma bringing the butcher up from the village to axe a goose and a ram. That was hard for me, emotionally, even though intellectually I understood. Now I live in prime deer and wild turkey land. The hunting and gun culture is HUUUUGE here, and I have needed a while to get somewhat used to it. So now that I am Primal, I have been thinking recently of perhaps, maybe looking into killing a dinner. We have a big piece of wooded land, and it is animal sanctuary at my place.

    Here is my question: how do you emotionally process killing an animal? I don't ask the wider family here because they are very cavalier about killing stuff - they have the attitude of, if there is any snake in the yard - kill it (non-poisonous, mostly, here) / if there is a groundhog on the side of the road, veer off and run it over to help the farmers (groundhogs make holes in the fields, you know) / if the boys get new guns, they practice by shooting every bird on the property (including songbirds), and my nephew actually told me he stomps on mice in the barn because they make the most cool noises when you do that - I almost threw up and asked him to never tell me that story again (story verified by his mom).

    So how do / did you get ready to look at something with a face, in the face, and then take it down??
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

  • #2
    Yes, but it’s not for everyone, and after reading you post I doubt it’s for you.

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    • #3
      I've killed or assisted in killing and butchering since I was 4. I doubt that you can. That said, you can often get hunters to give you deer carcasses that they don't need or want. You might start there, and learn how to skin and dismember something already dead.

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      • #4
        LOL. Not for me either, but there are hunters galore who do this and make excellent steaks, sausages, etc.

        I love animals so much and it's hard for me to think of them dying, especially gentle cows with their beautiful faces.

        But I know the meat is especially healthy for us. I found La Cense beef online and liked the way they described the humane way of killing the cows. More expensive than grocery store but all grass fed and really delicious. I try to always thank the cow who died, still makes my heart ache, tho. (but I've tried vegetarian and muscles ached and hair and eye lashes fell out like crazy.)

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        • #5
          No, I'm admittedly a bit of a coward in that regard, my brother does it for me
          Only because he loves hunting and does it as a sport anyway. It's just not something I enjoy personally. Although I could if I had to I suppose.

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          • #6
            I dated a guy for a while that raised his own beef cows. Unfortunately, this was before I went Primal, and it turned out he was a racist anyway, so it was doomed.

            Anyway...

            He made dinner one night from his own stock and was telling me about it. I flat out told him that, while I completely understood and agreed with hunting animals or raising them for food, I could not personally pop a cap into Bossy's brain, especially after living with her and caring for her a long time. He said he would never ask me to do that, so no big deal.

            I think it has a lot more to do with how you were raised (I was pretty sheltered) and not so much with how tough you are.
            Durp.

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            • #7
              I've killed for meat and I've never had the attitudes or actions you mention in your 2nd paragraph. Toward the animals I've killed I've felt respect, gratitude and some sadness at that moment. Taking food and wanton killing are not the same thing. You know. serial killers, normally start with small animals.

              Tercio

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              • #8
                Last year I raised 6 turkeys. Big broad breasted bronze turkeys. They are very beautiful and friendly. They greet me, running across the pen to see who is there and I could even pet them - very soft. In September a friend who hunts, came over to kill them for me and show me how to gut them. I had never done anything like this before - was not raised with hunters or farmers.

                I thanked each one for being such a good turkey and for their sacrifice to feed my family as they each had their heads chopped off. A friend brought over her kids and they played with my son (4yo) outside the pen while all this was going on. My hubby, our hunter friend and most of my other friends were very surprised I went through with it. I figured that they had a great life and happy food tastes better. I did feel bad about it for a few weeks. I dreamt about the look of betrayal on their turkey faces as we killed them, but this is the circle of life. I feel that it is important to know this process. If you eat meat, someone is doing it and atleast I know mine were well cared for and even loved.

                I have never been the one to take the actual life though. This year I plan to get our friend's help again, if possible. Part of this though is because the turkeys are so large (males 45-50lbs, females 30lbs) and I don't want to hurt myself in the process. Recently, I wanted to get rid of our rooster (meanest critter I've ever met, attacked me many times so I never entered the pen unarmed). I let one of our malamutes kill it and then cleaned it and slow baked it for dinner. It was so tough, it was like trying to eat a rubber chicken. I stewed it over night and the only ones wanting it the next day were the dogs

                I would advise trying to hang w/ some hunters when they go out and see the process and get some learning before attempting such for yourself. Many people get hurt when they don't know what they are doing and a deer or even wild turkey can do some damage.

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                • #9
                  I grew up hunting. I feel no guilt over being at the top of the food chain.

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                  • #10
                    The act of killing is something that takes some getting used to for most people. To start, I would ask around to see if there is a place where you can learn how to butcher an animal. Cutting up a whole animal that's already dead is going to give you a pretty good indication of the emotions that killing will bring up.

                    There are hunters who are sensitive to this out there, and stomping on mice to hear the sounds is not normal.

                    Also, butchering is a pretty useful skill.

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                    • #11
                      I, too, have respect and gratitude for the animals I kill and eat. I don't hunt anything that I don't eat. I catch and release alot of fish too. I mostly catch what I need for a meal that night. Fresh Fish is awesome.
                      Also, it is called hunting and not killing because, sometimes, that is all you do. It takes skill to bag game plus a little luck!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tercio View Post
                        I've killed for meat and I've never had the attitudes or actions you mention in your 2nd paragraph. Toward the animals I've killed I've felt respect, gratitude and some sadness at that moment. Taking food and wanton killing are not the same thing. You know. serial killers, normally start with small animals.

                        Tercio
                        This.

                        I was raised on a farm. On that farm and neighboring farms (and in hunting/fishing) I raised and butchered, or assisted in raising and butchering, or hunting and butchering, just about anything you can think of 'normal' in North America at one point or another. It wasn't ever malicious. We raise all the animals in clean well kept environments, and with kindness. When it was their time... it was just their time. They had lived a good life to that point, be it months or years... and they were dispatched with as little trauma as possible. As for hunting, we were taught to shoot accurately at targets before being allowed to practice on real game and were expected to kill efficiently... not lame something and have it suffer.
                        It was also always the expectation that one did NOT take only the best cuts and leave meat to rot. The entire animal was to be used respectfully.

                        Living so far south now I no longer hunt game, but (when my head isn't a bloody mess) husband and I fish the coastal flats and keep some of the catch. Since husband doesn't eat fish at all this amounts to mostly catch and release sport fishing and taking substantially less than the allowable 'limit'.

                        I've never felt any guilt about dispatching, butchering, or eating any of the animals that I've participated in the care and killing of.

                        I've known people like you describe in your second paragraph... they are not people I like or appreciate. Malicious killing of animals is weak. A disgusting character flaw IMO.
                        “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                        ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                        And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When I was growing up my family kept geese, and from a young age I was involved in the plucking and gutting. In fact, I ended up doing all of the latter: my small hands and arms made it easier for me. As I got older I started to help with the killing too. I remember being really upset the first time, though I didn't know why – still don't really; I fully accepted the death of the bird and the tasty meat associated with it. But after the first time I was ok with it.

                          I haven't killed any food in years, but I'd love to go hunting with hawks sometime.

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                          • #14
                            my husband hunts deer off of our land. He keeps pushing me to get my hunting license. I did, however, skin one of his deer single-handedly this year---and I have to say it was pretty awesome. We butcher ourselves too. We also killed a few of our chickens this past year, but I agree that if they are more than 6 months old they are probably pretty tough.
                            Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
                            http://thewoodsygal.com/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mud Flinger View Post
                              I thanked each one for being such a good turkey and for their sacrifice to feed my family as they each had their heads chopped off. A friend brought over her kids and they played with my son (4yo) outside the pen while all this was going on. My hubby, our hunter friend and most of my other friends were very surprised I went through with it. I figured that they had a great life and happy food tastes better. I did feel bad about it for a few weeks. I dreamt about the look of betrayal on their turkey faces as we killed them, but this is the circle of life. I feel that it is important to know this process. If you eat meat, someone is doing it and atleast I know mine were well cared for and even loved.
                              This is a beautiful thought - formally thanking the animal. I saw something like that in a movie ("The Gods Must Be Crazy", a story centered around a !Kung bushman) and remember thinking the same thing. I could easily see myself doing that.

                              And it might help, too, recognizing that the animals were well-cared for in the case of domesticated ones.

                              My daughters were all born in urban NJ, and learning where meat comes from is one of the positives of living out here. I mean, I explained it to them before the move, but that is not quite the same thing as seeing dead deer strapped to truck bumpers 6 hours after the beginning of hunting season...

                              (note - boldface added by me)
                              Last edited by Crabbcakes; 07-07-2012, 12:35 PM.
                              I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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