In a day and age when more people are disconnected from the food they eat, it seems that there are also more instances of schoolchildren being taken into the outdoors to rediscover that connection. In Denmark one elementary school recently took it kindergarten class on a field trip, to a deer hunt and butchering session.
The kids learned about hunting deer, harvesting and butchering the animal, and preparing it for consumption.
In a video released by The Monocular, a global hunting community project, a little girl sits on the grass in front of a downed roe deer. She absentmindedly plays with a deer leg in her hands.
She tells an interviewer that she expects the deer, which they will shortly consume after it is butchered and grilled, to be “very, very, very, very delicious.”
The field trip included around 40 kindergarten children and was organized by the Danish Hunting Association and is apparently a fairly regular occurrence in the country.
“These experiences are quite common in Scandinavia and parents see this as a very natural and normal way of life,” said a spokesperson. “There is a pretty ‘no-nonsense’ approach to parenting here.”
Jens Bjørn Andersen, Board member of Danish Hunting Association echoed that thought:
“It’s all about showing future generations what hunters are doing and making it easy to digest. It’s the story about the journey of meat from earth to table and demystifying that, so kids don’t get an incorrect impression of where meat is coming from.”
Anderson indicated that this field trip and others like it are a response to the ‘Disneyfication’ of animals. The Danish Hunting Association hopes to counter some of the unrealistic depictions of nature with our youth.
It also hoped to give them a connection to nature that is tangible – in the form of food – and show them that people can interact with and be rewarded by being good stewards and conservationists on the wild.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with a great many supportive comments attached to the group’s facebook video.
This story dovetails nicely with another recent story we shared with you about a school in Britain that is teaching children outdoor skills along much the same lines. These children are learning self sufficiency, conservation and wildlife management, and will surely have a much greater appreciation of where their food comes from than many urban children.
“As the little girl was saying, roe deer need to be managed in order to protect the forest,” says school Headmaster Mike Fairclough. “The same goes for rabbits and pigeons, so it’s not about killing for the sake of killing. It’s about countryside management and taking full responsibility for the meat we eat.”
The little girl continues: “We’ve been eating wild boar sausages,” she says. The interviewer asks her, “Could you ever imagine wanting to shoot a roe deer – or not really?”
She answers unabashedly, “I want to shoot a bear!”
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.