There is a new trend in organic living: eating only meat that you personally hunt and kill. It may sound barbaric to shoot an animal in the wild, but it may be the most humane way we could possibly eat meat today.
Most of America’s meat comes from horrible places. Animals are stuffed inside confined pens, fed antibiotics and hormones, and sometimes physically abused until their heartbreaking existence comes to an end where they are processed and packaged en masse and shipped off to grocery stores across the country. It’s a practice known as factory farming and it accounts for more than 90 percent of our meat.
So while some shop at organic grocery stores like Whole Foods and others stick to local farmers markets, there are some who take food into their own hands. Literally.
- Humane Hunting
When you compare the life of a factory farmed animal to one in the wild, a single bullet wound starts to make sense as the ideal way to eat meat. Humane hunters believe that every animal deserves a good life in the wild, and that even free-range, organic animals on farms are still confined to life in a theoretical cage.
That’s why some people are dedicating their entire diet to meat only sourced from their own hunting. It’s a lifestyle adopted by anyone from city dwellers to celebrities like comedian Joe Rogan, who is more known from his work with the UFC than living off the land. Bryant Gumbel of HBO’s Real Sports sat down with Rogan to talk about why he only eats what he hunts. He said that eating only what he kills is his way to enjoy meat while being as humane as possible to animals. Rogan told HBO his diet is now 100 percent weaned off of factory-farmed meat.
- The Carbon Footprint
Aside from the moral argument behind “eat what you kill,” factory farming has a huge negative impact on the environment. Roughly 10 billion land animals are raised for dairy, meat and eggs each year. Not only do the animals themselves have an effect on the environment (food consumed, methane from waste, etc.), the machines required to process them add to the carbon footprint exponentially. Hunters who only eat what they kill do their part to chip away at this detrimental impact to the planet.
- An Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
The stereotypical hunter may not seem eco-friendly, but anyone who lives off the land like an “eat what you kill” hunter does is certainly just that. On top of the eco-friendly motive behind hunting for food, hunters will even outfit in environmentally friendly hunting boots, gear and make the least possible impact on the land when out hunting (such as leaving no trace behind).
- Simply Delicious
Have you ever tried venison chili or a slowly roasted elk steak? Wild game, when prepared correctly, is simply delicious. So while hunters will only eat what they kill for moral and eco-friendly reasons, they also enjoy the benefit that the food they hunt tastes amazing. And is it really any surprise? Stuff a cow inside a cage its whole life and pump it full of hormones, and that’s going to ruin the quality. But a deer that gets to roam freely and eat naturally its whole life is going to make for an incredible meal.
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