Nature’s Meat

We haven’t bought any meat in years.  As I’ve said in previous posts, although Cherie is a vegetarian, I’m not.  I consider myself a “farmitarian.”  All the meat I eat comes off this farm.  I don’t eat meat in restaurants.  I don’t eat the meat of any animal I didn’t raise, hunt or catch myself.

Most of the meat I eat is venison.  Occasionally we’ll have to cull a young rooster or two out of the flock and if so I dress them and eat them.  I also eat fish from our pond.   We skipped a year raising pigs so I haven’t had pork in about a year, although that should change soon.  Still, although I don’t eat a lot of meat, the vast majority of the meat I eat is deer.

Deer are abundant on our farm.  They are the ultimate free range animals I suppose.

It puzzles me that so few people eat venison.  Even here in the country most of the deer hunters are just doing it for fun.  Personally I don’t find anything about killing deer “fun.”  But every deer season we’re overrun by men who dress up in camouflage clothes and shoot at deer.  Many of them are dangerous menaces, disrespectful of our property rights and seemingly oblivious to the fact that our farm is also our home.  But I digress.  I’ll save that rant for another day.  One of my objections to the annual swarm of hunters is that they aren’t hunting to feed their families, but rather just for the “sport” of killing animals.

Deer are grossly overpopulated in this part of the world.  I see them on our farm every day.  Sometimes dozens of them.  They would make a great food source for country folks.  The meat is lean and tasty.  I strongly prefer it to beef.

Venison is a very versatile meat.  Over the past few days I’ve had venison meatloaf, venison spaghetti and vension burritos.  It is also great in stews, which are especially good on winter days.  The tenderloins are outstanding, as is venison sausage.  Personally I’m not crazy about venison steak, but it’s another good way to prepare it.

It seems to me that if we’re going to eat meat, why not eat the game animals that nature is providing for us?

I could easily live as a vegetarian.  But for now I’ll stay a farmitarian.  And for the cost of a couple of bullets (a few pennies) and a processing fee, I’ll have all the meat I need for a year.

Love Wins

6 comments on “Nature’s Meat

  1. carrie says:

    I know of the “dog hunters” (literally and figuratively) you are speaking about and wish that there were stronger penalties for these “men” (I use that term loosely to describe them). There are a few good hunters out here also though. There is a very worthy organization called Hunters for the Hungry. My husband and son donate three or four deer a year to it as do scores of their friends. Most of them will process and keep one deer each year while giving the rest of the deer they harvest to this organization. Many families are fed by the deer these guys harvest. 🙂


    • Bill says:

      ooooh Carrie just thinking about all those (insert unkind word here) riding up and down our road pretending to “hunt” makes my blood pressure rise. I’ve had several chickens killed by their half-starved dogs each of the last two years. Last year one of them racing down the road ran over and killed the Timms kids’ dog with Abe watching. He never even slowed down. Two years ago someone got out of a truck and, while standing in the road, fired across our field with me on the edge of it. He never saw me until I came out of the woods screaming at him–at which point he hopped back in and sped away. I could go on and on, but I know I’m preaching to the choir.

      Hunters for the Hungry is a good program and it is a shame that good responsible hunters, like me and those in your family, have to deal with the problems caused by the bad ones.


  2. shoreacres says:

    There’s a market for venison here, but the meat can be hard to find or extremely expensive for those who don’t hunt. The meat market I go to used to process deer and occasionally I could pick up some venison when a hunter didn’t want all his meat, but increasing governmental regulations caused them to give it up.

    I can still get good venison sausage, but the only other venison I know of locally now is ranched Axis, and it’s pretty expensive – $10/pound for ground.

    I’m handicapped by urban living, of course. And many of the hunters I knew have moved, died, or given it up. Still, I do enjoy my sausage.

    I will say I don’t mind some of the regulations, particularly those that concern processing. There are plenty of folks out there who don’t know a thing about field dressing – or know just enough to know they don’t want to do it. At the market where I got my venison in the past, they refused to take any animal that hadn’t been field dressed and cooled. Smart guys.


    • Bill says:

      I know it’s difficult for city folks to eat venison, which is why I said it’s a good option for country people. We get way too many city people who like to play hunter on weekends (often while drinking). They help make deer season out here miserable (and dangerous) for those of us who live here and like to be outside.

      Unfortunately there are also lots of “hunters” who just kill the animal and do nothing with it. If it’s a big buck they might take the antlers as a trophy, but otherwise they’re only killing them for fun. We find lots of dead deer around here, some that ran into the woods after being shot (and many of these guys won’t go to the trouble of going after them), but plenty that were just left there because the person who shot it wasn’t interested in anything else. Such a waste when that happens.

      A pity you don’t know someone who could bring you some. Maybe that will change.


  3. Ann Wood says:

    Some of us ‘city’ folk have tasted venison that has not been properly drained and dressed… I guess sometimes unseasonable warm weather forces a hunter to rush the process. I don’t think anyone could enjoy improperly prepared venison… too gamey or worse! I no longer take meat offered when I don’t know the source. When I do I still soak it in water and salt and then in either beer and or herb bath – to help with the gamey taste….it is more work and that is why I don’t buy it often as well as the cost. We do love the sausage at Christmas though – getting ready to order some now from Cabela’s. But deer is truly an abundant meat source…we have deer roaming through our neighborhood from time to time. So I will check to see if there are small markets with processed meat – roast & steaks I will still soak! Maybe It is an acquired taste. I want to be vegetarian if I can figure out how to get the protein and calcium I need for osteoporosis that is a side effect of no thyroid function. These nutrients are abundant in nature…just not found the right combo yet.


    • Bill says:

      I’ve heard lots of people say they don’t like the taste of venison. I guess I’m just fortunate because I like the taste very much. In fact, I prefer it to beef (unless it’s a steak).


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