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Meet your Meat (Part 2)

Step three on my journey to meet my meat is either raising animals for food or hunt. For now I choose to help others raise meat and hunt for my family and community.

Getting a hunting license and gun license was a bit of work but it was nothing compare to actually getting my hands on a gun. The current government in Canada wants to win favours of their majority voter base(urban dwelling, non-hunters) by introducing stricter and stricter gun control bills while ignoring the real root issues of social isolation, mental health and marginalization of our society. But that’s another blog at a future date. Long story short it took me 5 tries and 3 months to finally bring a hunting rifle home. Is this making our schools safer? Or simply low hanging fruits for lazy politicians?

My first kill was a 20 Lbs wild turkey 5 mins from our house. The gun shot was deafening and the adrenalin was amazing. When the bird finally stopped move I went down to grab it by its legs. The body was still warm. I felt like my ancestors before me, dragging a kill on the forest floor, going home to feed my family and friends.

My second kill was a farm raised rabbit. My friend was willing to share his bounty and wanted to teach me how to dress a rabbit. Knocking the back of their heads was a challenging move. It took us a few tries and the squeal was heart-wrenching. Once they are lifeless the rest is a lot of slicing and pulling. The smells were not too bad because we kept all the innards intact. We shared the meat the next day in a potluck and it was finger-licking good.

Alas, I am ready to go on a big hunting trip. A good friend and experienced hunter accompanied me to the wilderness of BC Mountains. The view alone was worth the price of admission. An hour in, he spotted a young bear across the ravine. On our way down to track it I spotted another bear on our side of the ridge. He confirmed the sighting and the chase was ON!

I grabbed my gun and popped a clip in, loaded a round into the chamber and kept the safety on. We descended the slope quietly. Every time I stepped on a branch I cringed. Luckily the bear was oblivious to our presence, busy feeding on the greening hill. Through whispers and hand gesturing I communicated with my friend and we triangulated the target and cut off its escape. I crouched down on an old tree stump and rested my elbow on it. Safety off. I adjusted the scope. Took a few deep breaths. My friend whispered: “Take your time.” I nodded and waited for the opportunity. The bear was munching on some grass. Then, all of a sudden it looked up, smelling the air, as if sensing something. I pulled the trigger…

What transpired was a piece of precious experience between me and my world. It is personal, it is divine, it is priceless. The creature was no longer and my life continues on. This scene was repeated countless times in our human history. I am here because of those kills. The blood in my veins know the drill. Are humans evolving beyond meat consumption? Maybe, but I wanted to understand our past and practise this ancient ritual. And there I was, standing above my smoking bear; on the side of a mountain; holding my weapon; claiming my manhood; proud to the core.

On my journey to meet my meat I learned that game meat and fresh meat are so much more tastier and healthier. Bounties grown in nature have a pure aroma while store-bought mass farmed meat are smellier and are striped of their essences. The game animals live a natural life without unnecessary suffering until their instantaneous ends while the mass farmed animals live miserable lives with no chance to escape.

My takeaways are I am going to prioritize my meat consumptions in the following ways:

First choice: hunt or fish and share with family and friends.

Second choice: buy from small and organic free run farms where the animals are not mistreated.

Third choice: buy conscienceless produced meat from stores.

Fourth choice: supplement meat protein with plant based protein in our diet.

Traditionally one big game will supply a small family protein for a couple of month, its fat will supply the lighting, heating and waterproofing needs, its fur will be clothing and housing, its bones and claw will be used in decoration and ceremonial rites. Other parts will go feed the family pets and livestock as well as fertilizing plants.

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