Friday, December 14, 2007

Take Me Hunting

Someone take me hunting, please.  I'm serious.

I am a non-hunter -- never been out with a gun trying to bring down a deer or a duck.  Not once.  My dad used to hunt before all of us kids were born (I was number 5), but he packed the guns away before I could even walk.  

Why this interest in hunting?  Well, first you should understand that I am not a huge lover of guns.  I have not yet found a war in my lifetime that I believe was justifiable, nor do I condone householders keeping loaded handguns in their homes.  The person who uses a gun against another person sacrifices a huge chunk of their soul.

I also don't really relish the idea of killing another animal.  They don't gross me out -- I've been with too many dead people in my life to be bothered by that -- but I don't see these magnificent animals as a sport.  

However, I do see them as food.  We humans are designed as omnivores -- designed to live on a varied diet that can include a wide array of other animals.  Yes, we can live solely off of plants, and I applaud all those who choose to do so.  I don't.  I figure, as long as we're eating meat and fish in moderation, it's how we're made.  Having said that, I'll put in my plug for much more moderate use of meats -- Americans really do overdo it to the detriment of themselves and everyone else.

But I digress.  I have thought about it and decided that, as long as I'm going to eat meat, I should at least know the animal I'm eating.  I should be able to look at my food and say, "This was once a living being," rather than to pick up a slab of cellophane-wrapped food product at the grocery store.

I like the idea of a locally grown, free and wild animal rather than the over-crowded and improperly fed assembly line animals I usually eat.   

For some time, I've believed hunting your own food is a fine thing to do; it's just that I don't know many hunters, nor do I ever seem to find the time or money to go out and do it.  Like gardeners and fishermen, I'm glad the world has them, but I've never really wanted to join their ranks.

Yet, now may be the time.  I would like my kids to understand what it takes to feed them.  Not the money but the life.  I would like them to experience bringing home food that they didn't buy.  

Not that I'm entirely comfortable with the idea.  I used to carry the image of those buffalo hunters who blasted the bison away into near extinction for sport -- and I hated that idea of hunting.  I also believe that if everyone went out and hunted, we'd have a problem.  But with the number who do, and with the agri-business as it is, now might be my time.