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??
Yes, but it’s not for everyone, and after reading you post I doubt it’s for you.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I grew up hunting. I feel no guilt over being at the top of the food chain.
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.