We buy beef, chicken and pork from the grocer's every week, but here are a few reasons harvesting your own meat might have you thinking twice about what you get from the store.
We all know hunting has numerous benefits but the most important is why you should eat what you kill. Harvesting your own meat is better than you think than the meat you get from the supermarket.
1. It's more humane.
Most people who have not been hunting are not quite able to grasp this notion. ("You shot Bambi!? How could you!?) But I wonder how many of these hunting nay-sayers know what happened to the cow they are about to throw on the grill.
Cattle endure an awful lot of stress during the slaughter process. There are hundreds of them packed together in a corral, being herded to their deaths, and while cows may not be the smartest creatures, when they smell the blood of their own they know what is about to happen is not good. Fear causes stress, and stress releases cortisol and adrenaline, tainting meat, meat that we as consumers ingest.
When a deer is shot, he is standing in a field, minding his own business, checking out doe, not privy to the fact he is about to die. When a hunter makes the perfect kill shot - most hunters will for fear of losing his animal - the deer typically goes down right there or within a few yards.
2. It tastes better.
Deer eat acorns, corn, grass and vegetables from your neighbor's garden. They are not fed random foods; they are herbivores roaming and feeding on natural substances from the earth. If you know what you are doing with venison, it is one of the most delectable meals you can cook. All natural and tasty.
3. It's rarely dangerous to eat venison.
You probably remember the mad cow disease outbreak when consumers were advised not to ingest beef from the store. Mad cow disease begins when cattle are fed food made up of diseased cattle parts. Cattle and poultry are grown specifically for us to eat, meaning they have been injected with antibiotics, grown in mass quantities and along the way, been in contact with anything and everything that could be dangerous to our immune systems.
When a deer is killed, you know where it has been. You take out his guts, you skin him, you butcher him, and you give him to your family to enjoy. Being self-sustainable feels good.
4. It's better for you.
Venison is good for your heart as well as your waistline. It is lean. Venison is the utmost all-natural, organic, good-for-you stuff that you can put into your body without paying an arm and a leg at Whole Foods.
Beef has three times the cholesterol of venison, more fat and more calories.
5. There is no added junk in deer meat.
Deer are never injected with any kind of hormones or antibiotics, something you can't say for the meat you buy at your local grocer. Hormones used to make cattle "beefier" and grow faster may have longterm damage to human health.
6. It's cheaper.
Buy a hunting license and a used rifle and you can feed your family for the entire year with your harvest instead of buying meat every week from the store.
7. It's more fun.
Try to explain what it's like to kill a deer to someone who never has killed a deer and they probably look at you like you are a crazy person. But once you have harvested your first kill, had the opportunity to take down such a magnificent creature and been given the privilege to feed it to your loved ones, you will understand. Bringing home the bacon is a lot more fun than buying it.
Without being too didactic, hunting is the most natural way to eat meat. It is an American tradition, it is truly field-to-table organic, and it is self-sustainability at its finest.