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How many of you would starve?

I love animals and I love meat. There's no way I could ever hunt/kill/dress an animal the way our ancestors had to. I would have starved or offered a service in return for the meat someone else prepared. What would you do?

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  1. I am an animal lover--very much so. But I grew up in a hunting family. I don't think I could be the one to take the life--but I can clean the animal and cook it. I think I got that way because my brother was interested in killing and I was interested in eating. Kind of like the men in my family would come home with the kill and I was the only person that would ask "are we going to eat that?" I cleaned my first deer at 8 or 9 from instructions in a wildlife magazine. But the process made me feel ill.
    I guess if left to my own devices in the wild I would be a fishitarian, lol. I love seafood and went shrimping happily many times while living on the carolina coast.

    1. Eat anything other than meat. No need to starve, really.

      6 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        Well that would depend on where you live. Not many non-animal food sources up north.

        1. re: im_nomad

          And that was true in my case. I grew up in far northern PA and venison was often the order of the day in Nov/Dec. Hey, better than frozen nugget-y type things

        2. re: linguafood

          What about the Masai in Eastern Africa? Or other peoples around the world who depend on animals for food? Part of it is survival, but even if we had the funds to move them to another part of the world and train them to farm, how would they feel about that? I'm all for advancement and do not believe that culture is static. However, the food we eat is a huge part of our culture. Would this scenario be fair?

          1. re: NicoleFriedman

            I thought this was a question directed at us personally. I am not a Massai in Africa, and I could probably live on a strictly vegetarian diet if I had to.

            1. re: NicoleFriedman

              The Masai in Kenya and Tanzania have lost most of their cattle to drought and have been introduced to camels as a replacement. And they're adjusting to it quite well. But not sure what that has to do with this thread.

              1. re: c oliver

                Lol. I was replying to lingua food who suggested that we can get by without having to consume meat. I was pointing out that depending on your locale and your culture that may not necessarily be a likely option.

          2. I doubt most here, myself included, have known true hunger. Go without food for a couple of week and then say you wouldn't kill for food.

            10 Replies
            1. re: ediblover

              Exactly my response. Think of what the Donner party and the Andes plane crash people ate. I bet they would have loved the option to kill an animal rather than doing what they had to do.

              1. re: Cachetes

                FWIW, there's increasing evidence that the Donner Party did NOT practice cannibalism. We live in the area so it certainly got more play here.


                1. re: c oliver

                  Thanks, I vaguely remember that, but I guess it didn't stick. Though I think they likely would have appreciated a nice venison steak!

              2. re: ediblover

                I have not know hunger but my father (and his parents and siblings) did. My father was a WWII refugee, his own father was in a prison camp and up until the ends of both their lives, there was nothing they won't eat or do to obtain food. A real threat of starvation changes one's thinking.

                1. re: cleobeach

                  Thank you for that. I think there's quite a difference between saying "I wouldn't" and "I won't." I know that I would but pray I'm never faced with that.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    This makes me think of the movie "Alive". The survivors of the Andes plane crashed faced an unimaginable situation. I've shown that movie to students and while many say they would "never do that", how do you really know? I would hope that I would do whatever I could, aside from harming someone else, to stay alive. Amazingly, one of the survivors is now a politician in South America. That to me is absolutely incredible and shows what humans are capable of.

                  2. re: cleobeach

                    cleo: thanks for that perspective, it's one many of us in the "first world" have trouble even conceiving.

                  3. re: ediblover

                    Thank God I've never experienced real hunger. You made an excellent point.

                    1. re: ediblover

                      @ediblover - Well put.

                      Also, I don't understand how someone can in good conscience eat factory-killed livestock, while objecting to hunting. Hunting a wild animal is in my opinion much more humane than eating an animal who was merely born to be slaughtered, and usually in a rather cruel fashion. I eat factory-killed food myself, I'm just observing the inconsistency - not condemning the practice.

                      1. re: gothamette

                        I hunt turkey, geese, deer, elk, duck and I fish. I think they are gorgeous creatures and I have the utmost respect for them. I practice my 'art' extensively, and am good at killing. This practice allows me to harvest in a humane, and God-fearing way. You'd be amazed at how many people have chastised me for being a 'butcher' or 'killer'...as they chow down on a pepperoni pizza, hamburger or chicken caesar salad. 100% agreed @gothamette.

                        If you do not eat any meat product, I will listen to argument, and disagree vehemently. If you eat factory meat (which I, too enjoy) think twice.

                        Butchering is not as bad as you think. Not much different than cutting up a primals. Dressing / gutting, bit of a different story. Not always pretty.

                    2. I have participated in animal butchering. Not the hunt, but dressing the animal and butchering it. It was visceral, and a little difficult to see, but all in all an invaluable learning experience.
                      No, I wouldn't starve and neither would my family and friends. I'd just need hunting lessons for meat. Howevah, I can fish like nobody's business and going Pesca. wouldn't kill us.

                      1. I love animals too. The only thing I kill now is seafood but I would kill a chicken or a rabbit if I had to. Probably not a cow....

                        1. It's a bit silly to say that you would have starved, as there's no way to tell what your mindset would have been hundreds (and hundreds) of years ago. But here's a hint: probably not the same as it is now.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LeoLioness

                            You (and others) are right; "starve" is a bit over the top. I would eat vegetables or make an arrangement with the hunter to do his taxes in exchange for a piece of meat. Fish is the same to me. I've gone salt water fishing but there's no way I would clean what I got. I love lobster, for example but I can't stand to see a live one dumped into a pot of boiling water.

                            1. re: LeoLioness

                              Leo- You make an excellent point. Suggesting that we would act a certain way 100s or 1000s of years ago makes little sense, as we would be different people based on our environment and how we grew up. It's similar to arguing that Abraham Lincoln was a racist because he suggested that freed slaves go back to Africa. Obviously for anyone to suggest this today would be racist. However, if you look at the historical context of when he suggested this, you would see that even African Americans were saying the same thing... because they grew up in a very different time period than we did.

                            2. I've actually been contemplating something similar lately. My 84 year old father is a hunter, and harvests a deer for us every year. His neighbor is a processor, and so with zero blood on our hands we get a freezer full of venison every year. But this cannot go on forever (despite my dad's hearty bloodline hunting well into their 90s!). Despite venison being our preferred red meat, and despite my having grown-up with animal processing of every stripe, I don't know if when the time comes, I could say: "now I'VE got to be the one to hunt and process the deer." 30 years ago, I wouldn't have thought about it; it would have seemed very "everyday." Now? Maybe I'm getting a little more squeamish as I age. Or maybe it's just sloth - heck, I whine sometimes if I have a ton of garlic to chop, so butchering a deer seems exponentially more work these days.

                              I know I can buy venison, but it's a lot more expensive than "free" to do so. Perhaps the venison surfeit is one of those things I'll have to enjoy for the now, knowing it will end at some point. Like alliegator, I'd probably take up fishing if I had to provide flesh for the table by my own hand.

                              But bartering works: I hand someone money, they hand me a pork shoulder.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: cayjohan

                                I was thinking along those lines, too. I'm pretty lazy and take the easy route of cooking/preparing food most times. You foodies would be appalled at my lack of cooking skills. The most complicated food I make is a pot of veggie chili or home-made meatballs and sauce, lol. I think if I was starving I would do whatever I could to eat. Survival is a much stronger motivation than the desire to kick my feet up and relax. And, as people say, you can never say "oh I would never do that!" until you're faced with those circumstances. Humans are still instinctual animals, even when we don't realize it. Desperation will lead just about anyone to drastic means.

                                If I absolutely had to, and I had the opportunity to, I would hunt/kill/clean/prepare whatever animal I could get. I have no idea what I'm doing regarding those things, so chances are I'll probably have to do them many times before I do it right. But I'd do everything I could. Probably a safe bet to say anyone would.

                              2. I love animals, too. But I was raised with an acute understanding of the difference between pets and food animals. We were allowed to name the broodstock, and even played with the breeder rabbits (chickens aren't very cuddly). Their offspring, on the other hand, were strictly off-limits.

                                Slaughtering and butchering animals is an unpleasant business, but if it were the only way to put meat on the table I think most folks would buckle down and do it. I'm sure many would be vegetarians for a while, and some might limit themselves to fish and seafood, but when it comes right down to it, killing a chicken just isn't that big a deal after you've done it a couple of times.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                  alan, you're right about the chicken (despite the plucking being a gigantic PITA). I'll add in, say, game birds like grouse and pheasant...those I could do without much deep-breathing and inner fortitude. Perhaps it's the size of the animal for me - a steer or a deer or a pig have a heckuva lot more, um, innards to deal with! Not that I wouldn't like to get my hands on some of those choice innards, but the sheer size of the animal and volume of physical labor would give me a lot of second thoughts.

                                  Slaughtering and butchering seemed always to be a bit of a communal event when I was growing up. I just don't have that immediate community anymore and am loathe to embark on such a thing relatively solo. Food for thought.

                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                    Butchering larger animals is definitely a challenge, both in terms of the physical labor involved and the sensory overload. No two ways about it, innards stink. The more innards, the worse the smell. And pig innards are stinkier than most.

                                    It's also tougher to slaughter "cute" animals. I find it far less disturbing to break a pheasant's neck than a rabbit's. Still and all, it's a necessary step in putting meat on the table. I'd be more worried if it weren't disturbing.

                                  2. re: alanbarnes

                                    Yep, been there too. We had no problem slaughtering our pigs or turkeys, but I wasn't eating the dairy goats that gave us milk.

                                  3. I'm pretty comfortable field dressing a deer, but I bring them to butchers for professional butchering and wrapping. That was mostly in my Texas days plus a couple road kills in PA that my buddy hit. The only game I have dressed in FL was an Osceola turkey that a friend bagged to round out his turkey "grand slam". He paid $700 for the hunt, and I got half the bird for free.

                                    1. I'm an animal lover. I've had my share of cute and cuddly pets over the years. I see wildlife and farm animals at all stages of growth and maturity and go awww... My husband and I hunt. We process our own deer and rabbit. We have an order in for 30 broiler chicks and another dozen laying hens. When the layers get too old they go into the stew pot. When we have the new property sufficiently developed, there will be at least one milk cow and a yearly lamb added. That means killing and processing a calf and a lamb when they're still in the cuddly stage. Taking care of our own meat concerns has instilled a huge respect in us for the lives and welfare of the animals that feed us, and we kill them as humanely and quickly as possible with the least amount of trauma. It is not an enjoyable task at any stage of the process but a necessary one. I've heard people say that as far as they are concerned meat arrives on shrink-wrapped styrofoam trays and they don't want to know how it got there. I say those people have no business eating meat. It's okay not to be able to raise, kill and process your own animal protein but to choose to disregard the process is to disrespect what that animal went through and gave up to be on your plate. We do barter with folks who are unable to kill during butchering/hunting season but we require them to give us help processing the meat in return for a share of it. They see the prepared carcass in it's primal stage and learn how to break it down into various cuts. Some of them have worked up to plucking chickens if not eviscerating them. All of them have more respect for the animals after going through the routine.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: morwen

                                        I'm a lifelong vegetarian and posts like this make me happy. I cannot and willnot harm an animal, but I respect you for honoring said animal, and understanding the entire process, that it went through to feed you. Thank you.

                                        1. re: morwen

                                          Very much like Native Americans of the Plains, who would use every single part of the buffalo. Nothing went to waste, and they paid homage to the spirit of the animal when they killed it. Yet, most Americans only eat the "choice" cuts and discard the "nasty" bits. Go figure.

                                          1. re: morwen

                                            "I've heard people say that as far as they are concerned meat arrives on shrink-wrapped styrofoam trays and they don't want to know how it got there. I say those people have no business eating meat."

                                            I make no apologies for eating meat, but I would agree with this, IMHO one doesn't have to witness or participate in the process, one does need to be aware of it. while I don't think we need to "honor" the dispatched animal I do believe we would waste a lot less with the knowledge of what really goes into it.

                                            one of the things I liked about Ramsey's "F Word" was he'd raise some lambs or piglets (warning his kids to not name them) and walk the viewer through all the steps from life to table.

                                            1. re: hill food

                                              I agree with you. I'm appalled by people who go through life with an "I don't think about things I don't like to think about" attitude. The commercial meat industry is extremely flawed with dangerous conditions, both for the animals and the people who work on the floor, so we can have .69/lb chicken and 2.00/lb beef. We all should appreciate that. I'd also like to note that raising and processing our own animals in no way implies that the meat on our table is free or cheaper than supermarket meat. It isn't. By the time we invest in the chicks, raise, feed, maintain our chickens and their housing, the cost of hunting deer and rabbit, and add in the labor, energy, and materials for processing and storing we're well above the average supermarket price per pound. But no one has messed with our animals or their feed, or traumatized the bejeesus out of them. Our working conditions far exceed industry standards.

                                              I appreciated the fact the Ramsey exhibited obvious discomfort and unease when he observed the slaughter of his pigs. I applaud him for having the stones to face it and not leave. He wasn't so upset when his turkeys were dispatched but the shock method is not so personal as the cone method that we use on our poultry. There use to be a business here that was similar to the one that processed Ramsey's turkeys. Came to your home in a step van equipped with all the necessaries to quickly process your poultry. Missed the lambs episodes.

                                              1. re: morwen

                                                the lamb one used an incredibly powerful electro-shock, instantaneous. the van op is a brilliant idea. here's to entrepreneurs!

                                                while we're raising beef (calf and cow op), we send them out to someone more versed in breaking down the carcass, something I'd like to observe, if not assist (I've only been back a few months, we'll see the next cycle). I have known people who worked mass market cutting floors and after their stories there's no way you'd get me on one of those for work.

                                                at the meat locker the beef averages around 2.50-2.70 a lb. but I know (like ours)) it's small operation raised and worth the price.

                                          2. I don't know what I would do, as thankfully I have never been in this situation, but I can say it was one of the factors in why I don't eat meat. I guess in addition to many other thoughts i had going in my head at the time, I kind of felt like I didn't have the right to eat meat unless I was willing to look the animal in the eye and kill it.

                                            That said, I have no problem with hunting, or people raising their own animals, I respect that. Certainly less so with factory farming.

                                            I doubt when it came right down to it, in a starvation situation, there wouldn't be too many services one could offer up to get someone to give up a life-sustaining animal of their own, unless said service involved another non-animal food source.

                                            1. Do you think it is kinder to allow animals to age and die of natural causes? I don’t. But I do strongly believe that when you are raising animals as food, you provide them with the best life you can, respect the animals, and bring them to their end as painlessly and kindly as possible. Your reward will be great food.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                Yes. I don't know that I could kill and butcher an animal, I'd be much more likely to pay\barter services.

                                                But here in SE Pennsylvania we have a huge deer overpopulation problem. Unfortunately, we also hav an overdevelopment issue. There just is not enough land\food for the deer. Every year "controlled" hunts take place (as I said, it's a developed area) and every year people protest the slaughter of the deer. As if that is less humane than deer lying on the side of the road after being sruck by cars or starving to death. And the meat from these hunts is often donated to food pantries, which really covet the fresh meat--a win-win as neither the deer nor the people starve.

                                                My favorite true story from this year. Deer overpopulation is a real problem at Valley Forge Park. The anti-hunt people atually proposed introducing coyotes as "natural predators" to the deer. Imagine you're a tourist, visiting this historic area of the park! Or one of the thousands of locals who use the jogging, biking, hiking trails? Or just use the park for picnics with the little ones? Or to give your dogs a run? Even for the deer: Is being mauled by a pack of wild animals more humane than being shot by an expert marksman?

                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                  The over development part of that makes me a little sad. It feels a little like justifying killing off all the animals because we can't stop helping ourselves to more and more of their natural habitat. It is somewhat the same around here with the moose who make their way onto the highways.

                                                  1. re: im_nomad

                                                    Actually deer relish the type of habitat that is the result of suburban development -- edges of wooded areas around open land. There were far fewer deer when there was a lot more natural habitat -- because there were also many more natural predators. However, I agree 100% that it's sad how much land we take up.

                                                    One thing people seem not to realize is that the overpopulation of deer also results in the elimination of habitat for other animals, since the deer eat up the understory of the forest, where many animals live and on which many animals feed.

                                                    1. re: visciole

                                                      visciole, true, deer like the border of wood and field.

                                                      im_n: for me it justifies islands of hyper-urban places with a wide berth of wild and/or agrarian space. suburbs just seem the worst of both possible worlds. we can't all live on the farm and we can't all live in a tight context. nor should we even all try. I'm not going to live on multi-acres unless I'm going to raise at least some food, but then I shouldn't gripe about the deer (or fill in the blank) helping themselves to my tomatoes.

                                                      I don't hunt but I did observe the dressing of a deer a nephew bagged last fall. if it hadn't been so darn cold I'd have harvested a lot more of that sucker. I should read up on hide tanning and internal anatomy.

                                                    2. re: im_nomad

                                                      I'm with you. I lived in a city for 45 years and still, surprisingly, had deer in the urban setting. I would like to make a sarcastic remark, but the fact that the deer and humans can't share the space does make me somewhat melancholy (cue grade-school "where the deer and the antelope play").

                                                2. Had you been raised at the same time as your ancestors, you would have been raised with the same societal norms and mores as they were...which made it completely normal to hunt and butcher an animal for the table. I'm sure some of your ancestors were animal lovers, too...but pets were pets, and meat was meat, and there wasn't (and wouldn't be for you) any question of whether it was right or not.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    Even back then there were separate groups: hunters, other providers and nurturers. One did not necessarily have to kill to survive. As I said in a subsequent post, my op was a bit over the top. I would not have starved but I also would not have killed.

                                                    1. re: mucho gordo

                                                      depends on when and where you're talking about.

                                                      Anybody's ancestors who were settlers in the West did their own butchering...if they hadn't they'd have pretty darned hungry.

                                                      1. re: mucho gordo

                                                        But realistically, if it came down to a starvation scenario, I doubt anyone is going to trade their vital stores of meat for much else. Nurturing isn't going to cut it.

                                                        Now I'm also no expert, but I'm not so sure there were such clear cut divisions between these groups either. Unless they were perhaps royalty or medicine men or something along those lines, and everyone else provided for them.

                                                        I think on many of my ancestors where I come from. The men fished, and hunted, but the others who stayed at home eg women or younger men etc, tended farms and also killed the occasional chicken and what not.

                                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                                          That's ok:) we all probably exaggerate a bit in our op to provoke a good discussion:)

                                                      2. This is such an interesting thread- I hope it continues to include perspectives from many regions and lifestyles.
                                                        I was raised in a city, so meats came wrapped and bloodless. I also grew up a huge animal lover.
                                                        Now, having never hunted or dispatched an animal, I have discovered farmers markets and a great respect for those who raise and bring local protein to market. I am making strides to understand where my meat comes from, and knowing it was raised humanely, without hormones and antibiotics.
                                                        I'm not 100%, not perfect, but am learning and becoming more aware.

                                                        1. I am one of those irritating and unfortunate people who loves animals, wears leather and eats meat. I also like to solidly believe that meat comes from the butcher, not from all those gorgeous animals with big, brown eyes. I am a hypocrite, I admit it, but I suppose in my defence all the animal products I buy are free range, so that part of my conscience can be momentarily soothed by the notion it was a short, but good life for my dinner. So I am definitely with you, I would have been out foraging for berries whilst another of my tribe prepared the beast.

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: TheHuntress

                                                            well where would the hunters be without the gatherers? gnawing on raw bones with no accompanying dietary fiber, that's where (actually that's sounds sort of good, but I would appreciate some gathered horseradish root to rub on them).

                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                              Perhaps I should change my user name to The Gatheress?

                                                              1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                nah, somehow not as romantic/colorful.

                                                                "ooh there's some lovely filth over here Dennis!"

                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                  LOL Yeah, I thought it lacked a certain charm and appeal. I'll stick to the alter ego vision of stalking around in leopard print with a big-arsed gun.

                                                                  1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                    leopard print? print? keep the name but stick to foraging. we all have our own roles.

                                                                    Diana vs. Ceres. must be a tough choice.

                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      Yes, leopard print - it's a long story based on a saga a friend and I write about our alter egos. Maybe I can write the foraging into the story somehow?

                                                              2. re: hill food

                                                                Absolutely gathering was vital to survival prior to the Neolithic Revolution and the advent of farming. However, berries alone would not have sustained you. Prior to agriculture, every human was a nomad- which meant you would have expended far too many calories a day to survive solely on vegetables.

                                                                1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                  meat was a very small part of the diet then.......

                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                    That would depend on your locale and the season. During the ice age archaeologists have found groups in Europe and north America who hunted wooly mammoth, which was seasonal. However, by storing the meat underground in permafrost, it could have supplemented their diet for months. Compare that to a group living in a central African rainforest- obviously they would be consuming much more vegetables then those in northern Europe.

                                                            2. I love animals and I don't eat meat - but if I was 'in the wild' with no alternative then I'd not hesitate to kill and butcher an animal. It would be a simple choice of them or me - and there's no way I'd choose to die so that an animal could live.
                                                              Luckily for me I live in a modern city where the liklihood of having to survive on hunted meat is pretty remote.

                                                              1. I love meat & I don't mind butchering animals. I have done hundreds of them, mostly rabbits; I used to sell cleaned meat rabbits. What I hate is *hunting*. Ugh, it's boring, cold, it's usually wet and it SUCKS.
                                                                My Dad is too old to hunt now and I no longer have a freezer full of elk, antelope, mule deer & white-tail deer. It is a sad thing to go back to store bought beef after having the best meats for so many years. And I miss squirrel, too.

                                                                The worst thing I ever had to butcher was chickens. They are NASTY, NASTY BIRDS. We used to get together with a neighbor and do all our birds at once, in an assembly line. The killing was done by placing the bird in a hanging, upside-down cone. Their head sticks out the bottom of the cone and they get kind of dazed - presumably from the blood flow to the brain - and you cut off the head. Then remove the feet, dunk in scalding water and slough off the feathers, gut them and send them into the kitchen to be finely cleaned inside and out, washed and wrapped for freezing.
                                                                Fresh killed "opened up" chickens smell far worse than any other animal I have ever butchered, and the disgusting things you find in the craw of free range birds will make you want to hurl! The first time I thawed one out, I couldn't eat it. I could detect "that smell". Took about six months to get over that.

                                                                I think every meat eater should have to face the reality of what they are consuming. The fact that a life is taken, in order to sustain yours, matters.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: weewah

                                                                  I agree with you hunting is painfully boring, I've been and have little desire to go again. However, if hungry I would have no problem hunting and butchering the animals. I am lucky enough to have a husband who goes off with the boys to hunt, and I reap the rewards when they return...usually. As I've become more interested in the food I cook and eat with my family, I have certainly become more aware of where it comes from and how it got onto my plate. I feel badly for those who are either unaware or truly don't care. On a side note, I knew someone who once hunted often, and when killed would take a moment to give thanks for that animal. It made a big impression on me at a young age.

                                                                2. This is an interesting topic. Although I have never hunted, it does seem to me that hunting or raising your own animals are the most moral ways to obtain meat. Certainly the yuk factor is high - as a child I couldn't eat chicken for years after having to help slaughter and pluck chickens at a relatives farm. However, people who kill and dress their own meat are actually taking responsibility for their meat eating. They also have a relationship with the animals they eat that is honest and real. This seems to me to be actually much more loving toward the animals that buying shrink wrapped, anonomous meat in a supermarket where one can pretend that there are no factory farms and the animals haven't suffered. In an earlier post morwen spoke about respect for the animals they raise and someone also mentioned honoring animals. I think this a very moral position.
                                                                  So - because of lack of skill I might starve if I had to hunt to eat meat I might starve but it wouldn't be because I refused to do it. By the way, one of my daughters has been a strict vegan for 15 years but she will happily help butcher, cook and eat hunted meat.

                                                                  1. As an aside to the general question of the thread, I wonder how much over-consumption there would be if the only way people could get meat WAS to kill the animal themselves. Would people be eating bacon and sausage for breakfast, chicken sandwiches for lunch, and a steak for supper?

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: im_nomad

                                                                      Yesl Some years ago an I ran into an acquaintance and we were catching up. She said her husband was out bow-hunting deer or as she called it "hiking in camo." :)

                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                        A very interesting point! My mom would probably would literally starve to death if that were the case:} !

                                                                        1. re: im_nomad

                                                                          If you go back to a time when most people did butcher the meat they ate, yep, you'd find plenty of people having meat three times a day. Meat constituted a major portion of the standard fare on any prosperous 18th and 19th century American farm.

                                                                        2. you'd find that hunger is a great motivator to do things you "could never do"

                                                                          1. You think a hungry animal would hesitate if you were in its sights?

                                                                            1. I also love animals...But hunt, kill not a problem, dress I would have to learn. Nobody has a deeper love for animals than farmers or ranchers, a genuine love, stewardship, and appreciation for them, not just a trendy holier-than-thou, lip service, pita sorta attitude, and they send animals to slaughter. Man is on top of the food chain for a reason people, he didn't get there by eating tofu and quinoa!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                I've not known a slew of ranchers, maybe a dozen, but I've not known them to have any sort of "love" for their animals raised for food. It's their business and it's approached that way. If they treat them well, it's because that's the ethically correct thing to do and may make a tastier and therefore more profitable item for them. My large animal vet was tellling me a few years ago that he makes his money off the people that have horses and llamas. Ranchers aren't going to spend the crazy amounts of money on their cows that we would :) Except for a prized bull perhaps.

                                                                              2. I love animals but I love people more. I would never kill an innocent person for my own survival but I would kill an animal if I had to. If our ancestors had not done the same, we wouldn't be here. I would kill my own dog to save a stranger's child. There's no choice for me.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                  Don't worry, Nicole. You won't ever have to do that. There will always be some who can kill and some who can't.

                                                                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                    I hope not! As a side note, i wish I could have a dog or a bird! Dumb allergies:) I keep bringing up people from the Paleolithic- I bet that they didn't sneeze when they bred the earliest puppies. Despite my strong arguments, I really do love animals. I want to point out that killing an animal would not be easy for me. Doing something out of necessity doesn't equal enjoyment. I just feel very strongly that life is precious, and we as humans should do what it takes to survive, provided we don't do harm to our fellow humans. And if we have to kill animals for survival, we do it with respect for life and in he most merciful way possible.

                                                                                    1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                      I have been to a Halal butcher, and before the (very fast) slaughter, he whispered a prayer of sorrow and thanks to the goat for being his food. It made me cry.

                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                        As I mentioned earlier, I'm an avid hunter. I am by no means a 'hard-core' religious person. I have faith, I get to church as often as I can. Anytime I hunt, or take a kid hunting, I have them thank God for what he's given us on the Earth and the ability to use what he's given us for food and sport.

                                                                                        1. re: ssgarman

                                                                                          I was raised by a hunter who taught me the same (I've never hunted, but I'd have no qualms about doing so)...it's a powerful -- but good --thing to teach a kid -- that something has to die for us to eat.

                                                                                2. i think this brings up some interesting topics...

                                                                                  does buying meat at a grocery store or butcher mean (we) respect meat(food) less or just that human society has evolved that most people are far enough removed from hunting/gathering?
                                                                                  you could make the argument that people shouldnt eat anything at all just because they bought it...
                                                                                  but if we have changed from small groups that hunt/gather to very specialized specific jobs that people "barter" re--earn money for?
                                                                                  by that argument then you shouldnt own a car beacuse you didnt build it or know how to fix it...
                                                                                  or a tv or a computer...or anything then...
                                                                                  just because someone claims to be vegan or semi-vegan or meat eater or whatever doesnt mean that we shouldnt eat...and whatever one person wants to do or another should be fine with me or anybody...the problems always arise when one person or group tries to force their views on everybody /anybody...

                                                                                  would most people if u suddenly dropped them in the woods miles from nowhere starve?
                                                                                  but then that also depends on your upbringing and knowledge u have...

                                                                                  we can argue societal politics and lifestyles all day...

                                                                                  loving animals and eating meat can go together...
                                                                                  but yes if i raised an animal from birth..took care of it every day named it etc...meaning it was a pet-- no i probably wouldnt kill and eat it...

                                                                                  but i would have no problem having a farm and raising cows/chickens/pigs/deer whatever for food...

                                                                                  would i personally starve ...no

                                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: srsone

                                                                                    Congratulations, you've effectively debunked an argument no one has made. Not a single person here has they wouldn't - or that you shouldn't - eat meat killed by another person.

                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                      wasnt talking about someone specific on the thread...

                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                        Or by a Volvo. The deer that smashed my golf buddy's grillwork and headlamp was double delicious - lots of shadenfreud in our foursome.

                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                          THAT'S who told that story of it happening a few times in a year. I've been trying to remember who it was, I was thinking somebody on FB after I almost (almost) hit one a few months ago.

                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                            He nailed 3 of them in about as many months. Each did about $1100 in damage, just over his deductible. He was so annoyed he wouldn't eat any of the venison. As we cooked up the backstrap "speedies" we nearly spilled our wine as we laughed while toasting the great white hunter who was not in the room and off sulking somewhere.
                                                                                            On a serious note, don't swerve to avoid a deer. Just hit it. Better it than you hitting a tree.

                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                              a kiwi friend of mine told me that in new zealand there was so much hunting of that sort going on they had to pass a law that you could not eat an animal you killed with your car. so what did the locals do? went out in 2 cars - one for the kill, the other for collection

                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                I don't think you're allowed to do that around these parts either in Canada. Wildlife officials I think may have the right to decide whether it can be used for food. My foggy memory tells me that it used to be donated to food banks, but something changed that. I could be wrong.

                                                                                                I hit a deer once and it's not something I want to repeat, even though I was going extremely slow by the time it jumped from the side of the road, and got catapulted up across the hood of my car. It did get up and run away, I'd like to think that it was ok, but I'm probably delusional. When I got home, I called it in. I had over $2000 worth of damage to my car nonetheless, but still felt lucky, all things considered.

                                                                                                It was during hunting season and I got allll kinds of jokes about how I was out there trying to get everyone else's deer.

                                                                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                  reminds of when i was in drivers ed a million years ago. the teacher told a story about hitting a deer and how much it trashed the car. i raised my hand and said "it didn;t do the deer any good either"

                                                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                                                    in some parts of the world, wild boar are far more of a threat -- they're lower to the ground and built much more solidly...so they devastate the car of anyone unlucky or careless enough to hit them.

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                      thew: I'm chuckling at the ingenuity of the drivers, here in Missouri, you're required to register the hit and then it's all yours or in some counties the authorities will accept it for homeless shelters (how the registry is enforced I have no idea)

                                                                                                      842: I remember a neighbor once saying he'd rather hit a deer than a pig as a pig would flip his pick up.

                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                        I remember a neighbor back in high school totalling his VW bug when he ran it "under" a cow standing on the road. As I recall, the cow was fine.

                                                                                      2. re: srsone

                                                                                        I don't think buying meat from a butcher or grocer means we respect the animal less, but refusing to acknowledge/accept that the neatly package steak was once part of a living, breathing cow is a sign of disrespect both for the animal and the people who raised it. IMHO, that disconnect is was makes factory-farming of livestock possible.

                                                                                        I didn't grow up on a farm, but I grew up around them, and I always understood where the meat on the table came from. I have friends who had more urban/suburban childhoods, and they all remember the moment they realized that meat came from an animal. For some of them, it was pretty upsetting, for others it was not. Those that were upset by the realization are now mostly vegetarians now.

                                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                          i think most people understand the meat comes from an animal...
                                                                                          my point was that some people (not anyone specific on this thread) act one way about things...
                                                                                          like if i shop at whole paycheck im better than u..or i drive a hybrid car that means i care more about the planet than you..or im a vegan...or im a carnivore...
                                                                                          nobody is right or wrong

                                                                                          if everybody would do less worrying about that kind of stupid stuff maybe we would all live in a perfect world...
                                                                                          but with other peoples help and web sites like this that encourage the (hopefully free) exchange of ideas and experiences..we will make things a little better

                                                                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                            Just to chime in on the vegetarian / vegan issue and not getting into labels etc here, I don't eat meat. However I am also aware that my ability to do that is a luxury of modern living. At least where I'm from.

                                                                                            1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                              im not into labels either i dont care what anybody eats..
                                                                                              if u want to eat meat or only fish or only fruits and veggies... it shouldnt matter

                                                                                              my only problem is with people who decide its their mission to decide everything for everybody else
                                                                                              the hope is that we as a society/humans will eventually figure things out....

                                                                                          2. re: srsone

                                                                                            You make a very good point that human civilization has evolved to the point where we don't have to all be involved in the process of killing animals, which is a sign of our advancement. However, others on this thread have pointed out that it's sad how so many are ignorant of the process. I will add that this ignorance is also dangerous. While I don't believe our government will be marketing soylent green anytime soon, knowledge is power. Ignorance leaves us vulnerable.

                                                                                          3. I deffinitely wouldn't stop eating meat if I had to kill and process my own. It can be a grizzly task, but I really think that's because nowadays we rarely have the need. I also think it's interesting that some people seem to have a certain amount of shame about doing it. I think that's entirely cultural and has nothing to do with the act itself.

                                                                                            For myself it is easy to kill a fish or a lobster, but as they begin to have a more recognizable face it takes more mental effort. Not sure why this is. Perhaps it's a built in aversion to killing your own and anything that begins to resemble your kind?... That's probaly just cultural as well.

                                                                                            I'm about to embark on raising a couple of pigs. I won't be doing the killing and processing as I have no experience, but I want to learn. Learning about how to break down an animal and how it becomes steaks, chops, tenderloin, sausage and salami is fascinating. I think the more I learn and the more comfortable I am with what do do with the animal to make the most of it the less issue I'll have with the killing part.

                                                                                            Last year I cooked whole pig and before hand I mentioned to an Italian friend what I was going to do and he said, "You must respect the process." I think he was right.


                                                                                            1. I hunt and fish.. process/clean and eat it all. ~~ I would not starve!

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                Remind me to stick with you when the plane goes down.

                                                                                                1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                  Just remember, you might be the only menu option, depending upon where it lands. ;-)

                                                                                              2. I wouldn't go hungry, since I do hunt and field dress my kills.

                                                                                                Hunting is just another way of putting food on the table.

                                                                                                1. It sounds like you have given this some thought! Just remember that humans evolved eating meat, and probably roots, berries and leaves too. If you and your family were starving, you'd do anything to feed the hunger. I don't want to kill and butcher either, but if I had grown up 100 years ago, and I lived pioneer style, I am sure I would have learned.

                                                                                                  1. I know it's tv, but look at shows like Survivor, The Alaska Experiment and Kid Nation. Those are (relatively) normal/average people put into situations with little food. As their hunger grew they learned how to hunt/kill/dress animals.

                                                                                                    I vaguely remember seeing on tv (or reading in a book) that our ancestors might have gotten more meat by scavenging than by hunting. So you would only have to chase off a lion/wolf/bear to get your meat:).

                                                                                                    1. I guess I'd learn to hunt, or become very friendly with someone else who did, as you say, and do the cooking and cleanup in exchange.

                                                                                                      1. I would have gotten fat. I have no problem dispatching an animal. That's why they taste so good. I do draw the line, however, on anything that I've named. Hence, our chickens will become pets after they're done laying eggs, and the dog is safe, too. The fish in the aquarium are safe only because they're too small for the table.

                                                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                          After all, if we weren't supposed to eat them, they wouldn't be made of meat, right?

                                                                                                          1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                            <The fish in the aquarium are safe only because they're too small for the table.>

                                                                                                            1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                              SUSHI. Wouldn't a neon tetra look striking on a piece of nori?

                                                                                                              (eww. I just grossed myself out.)

                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                A neon tetra would certainly look cool as a piece of sushi, but for what it's worth the very colorful warm-water fish just don't taste that good. The fish in semi-tropical Okinawa are very colorful and beautiful, but just don't have that wonderful flavor of cold-water fish from Hokkaido in the north. Something as really ugly as a sea urchin produces such lovely flavor.

                                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                  (I know...it was a joke...I was going off of appearance only and viperlush's gag about aquariums)

                                                                                                                  and I'll counter with Queen Triggerfish, grouper, Hog snapper, mahi-mahi, tuna (lives in the Caribbean), and any of a half-dozen other varieties of snapper and grunt. Pretty tasty raw OR cooked.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    In my experience, warm water lobster are no taste treat!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                      and I don't particularly care for Maine lobsters...a chacun a son gout.

                                                                                                                      I lived in the Bahamas as a kid, and in Florida for most of my adult life (so I've also had the luxury of eating them fresh, as in on the table within hours of being caught) -- gimme a spiny any day.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                        They are both good. I'm use to spiny lobster and love them

                                                                                                                2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  As stunning as an angelfish, but I'm guessing they're both pretty bony in proportion to the meat angle.
                                                                                                                  Euuu, I just grossed me out too. But it would look pretty.....

                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                    mental replays of the torture scene from A Fish Called Wanda...!

                                                                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    I got a fish for the dorm room when I went off to college, named him Sushi. His successors were Sashimi and Tempura.

                                                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                      oh that is so warped -- and I can't stop laughing.

                                                                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                        So you're saying, "friends don't eat friends?" I just about died laughing, dude. Thank you.

                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                          No! What was intimated was, "friends do not let friends eat friends... "


                                                                                                                    2. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                      My sister and her husband raised a steer named Rumproast. They only did it once.

                                                                                                                    3. Golly. I am a modern day vegetarian and have been for over 35 years. No leather, either.

                                                                                                                      Were I suddenly thrown back into the past with the mindset I have today (and as an avid science fiction reader I've read quite a few stories where this takes place, John Varley's Mammoth comes to mind), I'd probably whine and moan and cry inwardly while making certain I honored the animals sacrificed for my benefit by making damn sure I got every edible part I could off of 'em using all methods feasible and making use of hides when possible.

                                                                                                                      And I'm good with a bow or a rifle so I guess I could do the killing too, if needed.

                                                                                                                      Today in February 2011 I made a really good baked seitan for dinner.

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                        "making damn sure I got every edible part I could off of 'em using all methods feasible and making use of hides when possible"

                                                                                                                        what individuals and industry should strive for.

                                                                                                                        while an omnivore myself, I do respect the no leather and vegetarian stance.

                                                                                                                        re your earlier post - what were they thinking? although 'rumproast' is a good name for a steer.

                                                                                                                          1. re: betsydiver

                                                                                                                            ok! - betsy gets a collection of classic late 1960's Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers comedy CDs next holiday season!

                                                                                                                      2. You'd be surprised by what you can do if you have to.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: jlafler

                                                                                                                          Seriously, this is true. There is no way I'd starve or let my family starve with food sources roaming around nearby. In fact, I like to tease my chubby little (spoiled rotten) dog that, in the event of a catastrophe, he's the only one in the house who'd fit in the soup pot. Kidding. I love my dog.

                                                                                                                        2. Suck it up and do what is needed for survival?

                                                                                                                          I don't see how dressing an animal is any different than chopping up chicken at home. It's still the same thing - the carcass, to some degree, of an animal that was once running and eating.

                                                                                                                          Animals are on this earth for humans, but that's not to say you have to treat them as lowly beasts; some of the most wonderful and mystifying relationships you can have are with animals.

                                                                                                                          You can hunt an animal, kill it and give thanks for its life, and then use as much of it as possible. You can respect animals and still consume them.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: JReichert

                                                                                                                            Animals are on this earth for humans? Who says?

                                                                                                                            1. re: gothamette

                                                                                                                              Evolutionary biology, the food chain. The plankton is there for the whales, the seals and small fish for the sharks, etc... and we live at the top of the whole shebang.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                That is a total misunderstanding of evolution. Selection only refers to fitness (passing on of fit genes to future generations.)

                                                                                                                                Plankton doesn't exist for any other reason than to create other plankton. It doesn't exist to feed whales. The fact that it feeds whales is chance. If plankton didn't exist, then whales wouldn't, and "evolution" wouldn't give a hoot.

                                                                                                                                Nor does evolution care that humans exist. Evolution has no purpose. It's just a form of impersonal tinkering.

                                                                                                                                Saying that evolution created a system for the benefit of humans is about a logical as saying that the Everglades exist to house imported pythons.

                                                                                                                                1. re: gothamette

                                                                                                                                  I never said what you inferred. Only that we are part of the food chain. We're part of nature, not above it. Nature involves predation, evolution involves use of available resources.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                    Hey, folks, we realize this conversation about evolution and the reason for existence is flowing naturally out of the posts above, but it's getting pretty far afield from the focus of our site, and we've had to remove some testiness, so we'd ask everyone to please let this sub-thread go. Thanks.

                                                                                                                          2. I've been on hunts, at one point of my life hunting was what put food on the table. I would not starve.

                                                                                                                            1. Please don't take this the wrong way, but the very fact you are even asking this question shows either (1) you've never experienced real hunger or (2) you are too naive to even understand the true implications of your question.

                                                                                                                              1. Though I am a city boy, within reason, I would learn, and make do.


                                                                                                                                1. I am reminded of what my husband was told in World War II: "If you are shot down in the jungle, find a monkey and follow him. You can eat anything the monkey eats. You can also eat the monkey."

                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                    Now that is really practical advice! I like it.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                      Practical advice?

                                                                                                                                      Have you ever actually tried to follow a monkey???

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                        I tried to follow howler monkeys in Costa Rica - they can move faster through tree canopys than I can move on the ground.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                          Well, there ARE ways to trap Howler Monkeys, but have never done so in Costa Rica, so those puppies might offer some new obstacles? Still, with a bit of planning, and the right twigs and ropes, monkeys CAN be dinner.

                                                                                                                                          Personally, I have had the best results with a fresh banana and an older copy of "Playboy" magazine. Works about 90% of the time...


                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                            Note to self: Add banana's and old edition of Playboy to survival kit LOL

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                              If you're a lady with a fresh banana, you don't even need the playboy magazine to attract men 90% of the time.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                            Nope. But now I know what to do if I get lost in the jungle :D

                                                                                                                                            But on a slightly more serious note Australian kids are taught how to survive if they got lost in the bush. When I lived in the remote north you would be amazed how many tourists died every year by getting lost or breaking down. One poor soul died about 1km away from a river after breaking down and not carrying enough water.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                              always head down hill. follow the first creek, it will lead to a river and from there to a town. or power lines that's good too.

                                                                                                                                              and yeah vintage playboys have much better art direction and retro cocktail app ideas than later ones.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                Problem being is that it's about 300-400km between towns, there are no powerlines in remote Australia and rainfall is sporadic - we have one river that has the volume of 6x Sydney harbour pass through it in an hour at one part of the year and is completely dry at another time of year. But there are still plenty of indigenous communities out in these places who still live traditional lifestyles in these environments, which is pretty cool. Sadly Playboy has been banned in most of these communities, so next time I'm up that way I'm going to take my own :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                                  I considered making a comment more appropriate to less arid areas, but didn't want to make assumptions about the geography there.

                                                                                                                                                  really? PB banned? what, are you turning into the Oklahoma of that hemisphere? (sorry to my neighbors but you know of whom I speak)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                    LOL Assume away. Most people who live in the cities here have no idea what it's like up there. There's a lot of red dirt, big fish and even bigger crocodiles - and not much else. It's good fun if you're into fishing and hunting - I never caught a fish under 3 feet long and there's loads of game. Some things are only allowed to be hunted by local indigenous people though, including stuff like dugong and turtle.

                                                                                                                                                    I know it's OT, but in answer to your question, due to our previous government (and some individual communities that choose to self-regulate) many indigenous communities have been banned from having pornography and alcohol on their grounds. It's a very complex issue, but that's the go. But you can go nuts everywhere else.

                                                                                                                                      2. It's a common misconception that pre-farming societies were all about the hunting. By volume, food was mostly of the gathered variety. So no, you absolutely would not starve hah.

                                                                                                                                        While I'm at it, I'll also point out men often gathered (especially considering it was the main source of food), and that women often hunted small game and helped with large game (tracking, lookout, butchering, carrying meat back, etc.)

                                                                                                                                        Ahh, androcentric anthropology, when will we be rid of you.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: ninestraycats

                                                                                                                                          well there is little recorded information (pictograph, cuneiform etc. - and as you know cuneiform didn't really develop AFAIK until the establishment of agriculture), but it wouldn't surprise me as division of labor really serves no one outside of the factory production line or at the very least a more organized social structure. it only makes sense that roles would have been more fluid than what we may project on them based on the last thousand or 3 years. (yeah ya didn't see Wilma or Betty going out to the quarry yabba dabba do! - bad joke) I do get that women have been largely unmentioned in what has been recorded. the few that made it in, well they kicked ass and in the prerecorded era must have been a far more integral part of the social unit's function than is projected - wouldn't have had the luxury of anything else.

                                                                                                                                          (actually might make a Monty Python-ish skit griping about being stuck in the cave/camp feeling unappreciated for the efforts made) "all day long I chew this hideous root to ferment for him and does HE notice? no, he's been out three days, THREE DAYS looking for even a rabbit and I've caught three opossum in this snare I made out of cattail fibers I twined" "oooh how did you manage to spring load it?" "I calculated the potential kinetic energy of a restrained sapling and evaluated that against the average body mass density of a foraging ground rodent" 'sounds lovely. will there be pudding?"