Have you ever brought meat home from the grocery store, forgot it was in the fridge and it spoiled? The recent conversations on Facebook about hunting brought this to mind.
My Grandad hunted, as did/do my uncles, son-in-law, nephews, and cousins. The Monday after Thanksgiving my Granny's kitchen table always had 4-6 men eating a big breakfast together in the predawn hours. My Grandad got a deer each and every year, until the year his eyesight diminished from his diabetes. He was sad that year. Sad that he was no longer able to provide for his family in a way he had for decades.
We buy meat at a grocery store someone else was responsible for slaughtering and don't allow ourselves to think about it. We've let some of those animals spoil in our fridges, or freezer burn when not used in a timely fashion and not considered what we've wasted. We allow half eaten burgers to be taken from our table and thrown in the garbage, not finished that rotisserie chicken we bought earlier in the week, threw away the beef stew that wasn't finished.
I think none of us would let that happen if we were responsible for hunting that meat ourselves. I'm not appalled by hunting. I learned as a girl that overpopulation led to animals starving to death because the new mall that took out a hundred acres of their habitat.
A young man proudly standing beside an animal he brought home to his family for food has personally taken part in the process. That meat will NOT spoil on a refrigerator rack. He knows what was given up for them to eat. A package of steak on a Styrofoam platter is not nearly as respected.
That steer was no less alive than a deer, though the steer lived his entire life in captivity while the deer roamed free. There are no pictures of the steer after slaughter, because in all truth - there's no challenge in putting down a contained animal. I have nothing against farmers. I just wanted to take a minute to point out that if you're buying meat at the grocery store, it didn't grow on that Styrofoam tray. Someone, somewhere killed that animal on your behalf.
I know I wouldn't want to do it - the deer congregate in my front yard during hunting season and I take pictures. I think I saw little arrows in the woods pointing the way with the caption "safety zone and free corn in the bird feeder - this way. Pay no attention to the lady in the window." But, I respect those with the strength to be hunters. I'm a gatherer, myself. Berries, anyone?