Saturday, 4 May 2013

From mountain side to table............

As a child I grew up in the country. We slaughtered our own Chickens, Ducks, Kangaroos, Sheep and Cattle, often sharing with our neighbours. Living in the city for so many years on the career treadmill trying to earn a decent living and provide a future for the family, all the produce came from a supermarket or at best a local butcher.

The last year has been spent living back in the bush and in the last few months, hunting has become a weekly occurrence. The pups have developed into great hunting buddies and we have had numerous successes. As such, we are now able to sustain ourselves to a large degree.

I must say, there is something intensely gratifying about being able to provide for yourself. About knowing what animal it is that has handed you it's life giving spirit to sustain you. Something almost spiritual about then dressing, butchering, storing, preparing and cooking the very food you and your pups have worked hard to find, stalk and humanely dispatch.

I know 100% that the animal has lived a natural life. Amongst it's own kind. Free to roam across it's territory. Eating what is natural without chemical additives or supplements. I also can guarantee that the animal's final moments were less stressful than that of a farmed animal. I know that the animals I take are oblivious to their fate and that from the time the arrow strikes them to the time it goes to sleep for the final time is almost instantaneous. I know it does not have to wait it's turn in a line, all the while watching it's fellow species being slaughtered. It does not have to be corralled, trucked, herded, marked or branded. For the most part it has barely had any human contact.

I feel a great sorrow for the modern child who never will be allowed to experience this. We as a species have become totally disconnected to the realities of life. I still get comments from friends my own age as to how disgusting it is that I hunt for my food. I recall a friend's wife berating me one night at dinner. Claiming the animals should be allowed to die in peace in the wild. I asked her..... "Could you describe how you picture a wild animal dying?" Her response made me laugh. People in general have some romantic notion of a wild animal becoming sick and it's herd, mob, family or whatever, gathering around and supporting it in it's final moments. When the realities are, it will most likely get sick or injured. Be left behind by the herd, group, mob or whatever it belongs to. It will eventually either be taken down by a carnivorous predator, or lay down and be eaten alive by a predator or scavenger. There is no romance in that.

I will defend my rights as a human to hunt and kill for my own sustenance till my dying days. I derive no pleasure from it. I shed tears of sorrow for each and every animal I take for food. But, it's worth it. I hope that someday soon, the tide of opinion will turn. That children will be taught respect for each and every living thing they consume. That they will be given a chance to experience what I have experienced.

If you have children, think about what I have written carefully. How respectful to that piece of steak, that breast of chicken or that Lamb chop are your children? Educate them. Do no be weak and shy away from the realities of life, but embrace it and allow your children to know what they have been given. To respect each and every animal they consume at your dinner table. To appreciate the life giving spirit of the animal.

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