Once upon a time, about five years ago, I became a vegetarian.
I lasted about a month. It was easy at first. By the end, I was fantasizing about jumping out of the moving car, running into a cow field, and chewing on a live cow. When I finally gave up, I ate sausage every day for about two weeks.
Around this time, I had a co-worker who was vegan. We had some very interesting talks. We had another co-worker who was an avid hunter, and I gave him a hard time. “How can you shoot poor Bambi?”, etc. But my vegan friend really surprised me – she said that if she were going to eat meat, it would be meat that had been hunted and killed, not bought from a store. I was totally shocked and asked her why.
She explained that it was because of how meat is raised and processed in this country. Not only are they stuffed full of hormones, preservatives and other chemicals, but they are treated horribly. They never have any kind of natural life; they’re born in these plants and raised in cages to be fattened and slaughtered. She gave me two books to read about the subject. I was shocked and sickened by much of what I read.
Animals that are raised and killed in the wild, however, lead a happy, natural life. They eat what animals are supposed to eat and do what animals are supposed to do. My vegan friend had no issue with hunting, as long as people eat the meat and don’t do it strictly for sport.
If people did not hunt deer and hogs in our area, we would be totally overrun. In fact, around here it’s open season on hogs; there are no restrictions on killing them, no season, no rules. They are a nuisance animal, very mean and destructive, and the population needs to be reduced.
Hitting a deer on the highway cause a car to be totalled and can cause people to die. You can thank hunters that it doesn’t happen more often.
So, its not just a lifestyle change, and it’s not hypocrisy, that has led me to go from being a former vegetarian to someone who happily helps prepare, cooks, and eats hog and venison. If I could, I would eat only hunted meat and fish (or meat that was raised cruelty-free and organically but OMG that is expensive). It’s healthier for your body and better for the animal. It’s the original, natural order of life.
I still care very much about animal rights; I just educated myself about the subject.
And I’m currently making my first venison stew in the crockpot…..