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Absentee Hunter Gatherers


© Copyright Graeme Churchard and licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.

Are you an absentee hunter or gatherer? If you don’t truly “live off the land” and buy your food from the local supermarket, then you are. But don’t worry, we all (or at least 99.999 percent of us) allow others to act as our proxies in the hunting and gathering of our food. And on one hand, it’s not a bad thing. If those proxies didn’t have economies of scale in their favor, we’d still be digging out roots and tubers and shooting squirrels and anything that moved to ensure we had something to eat. There would be very little time for art, quantum physics, and watching Survivor.

On the other hand though, allowing proxies to act on our behalf means our best interests may not be properly addressed. Cue processed foods, salt overload, no fat bullshit and all the myriad things food companies do to try to bolster their bottom line. Even giving food companies the benefit of the doubt that one of their goals may be to provide healthy food to people, that goal is often de-prioritized next to other corporate goals (like shareholder return).

Your proxies can take different shapes and don’t have to be large food companies. For instance, I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from in-laws that like to hunt. As such, since getting married, my family has had access to all sorts of wild game such as deer, elk, and moose. This has allowed for augmenting our diet with extremely healthy food that you know has come right “from the wild” and not endured umpteen layers of processing.

But me being me, I decided that wasn’t good enough. I was still hiding behind proxies who were doing my hunting and gathering for me. I decided I needed to be as close to the source as possible in at least one instance so I could better understand and appreciate where my food comes from.

So I did it. Yesterday, Bambi died and was processed by me. Was it fun? No. Was it challenging, interesting and exhilarating to be plugged into something more primal than figuring out whether you should get a latte or a cappuccino? Damn right it was. And I think it makes a difference in how I view my food. I felt remorse and sadness in the moment, but it didn’t stop me because my family and I have to eat. It was me or the deer. And yes, you make that choice every time you buy meat in the supermarket. Buy a steak? You confirm the need to kill another cow. So don’t get uppity on me. Unless you’re vegan, don’t bother arguing that this was the wrong thing to do. Any meat eater that does, only demonstrates how far removed he is from the truth about where the meat on his plate comes from.

Will I do it again? Probably. Circle of life man, circle of life.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • porkribs November 6, 2015, 2:44 am

    It’s no small thing to take a life. To do so with reverence and respect is in a way to say Namaste – the Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you. There is no shame in being at the top of the food chain. To take the time and effort to do things like this properly with a license and to feed yourself and your family is part of being an honourable warrior, and is a venerable act

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