Monday, September 18, 2006

Where's the beef?

It's already hunting season in Idaho. And probably bow season for something in Montana. I honestly don't pay that much attention. It's time for the hunters to sight in the rifles. When I was growing up hunting season was really important to my Dad and for our family. We lived on wild game and fish. Dad made sure I had decent hunting and fishing skills. I never liked killing anything. But I did like to shoot and came to understand that if you want to eat meat, as most people do then something has to die. Dad grew up on a ranch. It really was survival mode for them back then. So he also made sure I spent time on ranches in Montana. You really find out about where meat comes from on a ranch in Montana.

It is so easy to go to the market and pick out a neatly packaged piece of meat, or to go to McDonalds and order Mc meat. (whatever that grey matter is in that burger. and who knows where it comes from?) There is such a disconnect in doing that. And almost all animals are cute at some point. But in one way or another an animal died if you eat meat. It isn't pretty. I've been in a slaughter house. Have you? Another job that lots of americans won't do now.

But there is also a real disconnect in just shooting a deer or an elk, or something else, and thinking nothing of it, or getting too much enjoyment out of it. I guess this is what I'm getting at.

I've heard arguments on both sides, and I was expected to kill animals for food at a very young and tender age. I don't get any enjoyment in that. But I do like to cook. And I like to eat meat. And it is one of the harsh realities of life. My Dad made sure I understood this.

My hat is off to those who don't eat meat. However meat does make for good food. And I like to cook it. But something was having a life and had to die for that meal. I guess that is why people give thanks at meal time.

I didnt' want to post a photo of hunting season without getting these thoughts out in the open. Hunting is a tradition in Montana for both men and women, young and old. Sighting in the rifles was always my favorite part. It is the prelude to what will come.


GrewUpRural said...

When I was younger around age 4, I lived on an old chicken farm. My father used to go hunting for deer in the woods behind our house. There were several hundred acres on this farm, some were for crops and the rest were woods. I remember my Dad bringing the dead deer up the drive in his friends' pickup truck.

Later, he took me to the slaughter house. I actually wanted to go in. Now looking back, I realized that was the only way we had meat during that winter.

don said...

With wild game, at least you know where it came from. It makes me think of the recent spinach scare, and the horrors of the vast comercial pig and chicken farms, and the growth hormones they give the animals.

I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of some wild meats, but I know people who live for it. Most of the time I'd rather shoot with my camera.

Diane said...

I like buffalo, and elk. I realize the whole food-chain scenario; that something had to die so we can have delicious food.

I tend to get free-range food when I can find it (shouldn't be a problem now!)

don said...

I like elk, but I don't like it enough to shoot one myself, and they are so darn big, I'd have to eat elk for every meal, not to mention all the work after you get one down. I might start to shoot them if I loose my faith in store food. But there is nothing like a good buffalo burger now and then. It's been showing up from time to time in Fred Meyer's and Safeway.