Hunting brings home 'real' organic meat, and eating it puts you closer to nature
By Paul Kendall
What does "organic" mean when you're referring to meat? The original organic experience comes from hunting, and eating what you kill brings you closer to nature, according to this commentary by Paul Kendall, who holds an Idaho mule deer, above. / Photo courtesy of Paul Kendall
Doesn't meat just magically appear at the store and McDonalds? No. But in this age of technology and metaphysical disconnect many are losing touch with reality. Humans eat dead animals.
There is a growing number of individuals who abstain from the pleasures of the flesh (sorry). They may take it a step further than vegetarianism and not wear leather, wool, fur, or any animal-based product (veganism). One would think that such a lifestyle would be free of violence, but not so for the vegetarian Hitler.
I hunt because I like "real" organic meat -- if there is such a thing. It wasn't long ago that people hunted out of necessity. Some people still hunt out of necessity; others hunt for a number of reasons. I can only speak for myself.
I like to be outdoors, to hike, backpack, challenge myself, view nature, learn about wildlife and natural systems, and perhaps the most important, to be part of nature and the natural system. It's a total outdoor experience that requires all of my senses, and takes me to a heightened level of awareness. It does not recquire this level of awareness to mountain bike, ski, board, climb, hike, etc.
A successful hunt does not end with the death of an animal. My favorite trophies are memories of sunrises, and campfires with friends and family. My love of hunting will take me into four states this year. In Idaho I came upon the body of a deer that had been killed by a cougar, and was reminded that I share the mountains with other predators. In Utah I was (once again) outsmarted by a large mule deer buck for four days while I tried to sneak within archery range. In Wyoming I watched the interaction of mule deer and whitetailed deer under the peaks of the Wind River range. And in January I will head off for New Mexico to hunt with primitive archery equipment along the Jicarilla Indian Reservation. Hunting has taken me places that I may have never seen otherwise.
When things do come together in that drama of "predator and prey" I am thankful for the experience and the animal. When I kill a deer or an elk I look at the mountains that this animal spent its life in. I wonder about what it has gone through and seen during its life, how may other hunters has it eluded until now (human and not).
There is a lot of talk these days about being one with the earth and the animals, a human urge to be close with nature. I can't think of anything that brings humans closer to nature than hunting. Hunting puts you in nature as a predator, something humans have been for a long long time. You are part of life and death, not just an observer. Which brings us back to why man started hunting-food. Hunting is a recreational activity that has tangible benefits.
Wild game is "organic." When I eat wild game, I am eating something that has been wild and free since birth. Its body is made up of pure, 100 percent nature. With each bite, I am eating what this deer ate, I can honestly say (sort of) that I am one with a mountain. When the time comes, I hope that a deer or elk will be able to eat on me (sorry again).
Wild game is perhaps the best meat one can eat. It is lean, drug free, and you know where it has been. For three years I have not bought meat from the store.
And you thought that's where it came from.