Could You Kill Your Dinner?

In the Sunday Times on the 6th, there was an article that piqued my attention right off the bat, entitled Blessed Be My Freshly Slaughtered Dinner[1].

The opening sentence begs an important question: “Could you look through a rifle’s scope into the long-lashed eyes of an elk and pull the trigger if it would be the only meat you ate for the year?”

It struck a chord with me because it’s something I’ve considered many a time over the years, beginning with my very gradual transition back to being a carnivore from my two-year stint as a hard-core vegan.

According to the piece, a growing number of people are now committed to only eating meat they’ve killed themselves.

Apparently, this trend, if you will, began four years ago when Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg declared he’d only eat meat he’d killed himself for an entire year[2].

“I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being thankful for what I have. This year I’ve basically become a vegetarian since the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself. So far, this has been a good experience. I’m eating a lot healthier foods and I’ve learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals”, he stated in an article in Fortune.

In my opinion, his statement about being thankful for what we have illustrates what would be the differentiating factor upon which one might be able to kill their prey, or not.

Native American Tribes, such as the Iroquois, implemented “rituals that helped villages give thanks and apologies to the animals that supplied them with meat and clothing”[3].

And now, to that exact point, there are classes being offered that instruct not just on ‘Hunting 101’ or how to break down a game animal, but how to deal with topics such as how to deal with the sadness that immediately follows taking an animals life, according to the piece in the Times.

Of course, there are the arguments from the opposing point of view, those who chose to follow a vegan approach, which is based upon the idea that “killing animals is in no way respectful or loving but is, in fact shameful and stems from egotism and a lack of compassion”[4].

Candidly, when I was following a vegan approach, I too felt that under no circumstances was killing anything humane.

And I let that belief supersede my own body’s intuition about what I needed to be eating, and I did it for 18 months.

Specifically, despite beginning to dream about eating fish six months into my endeavor and waking each morning plagued with guilt, which I allowed to guide me for a year and half longer of simply not feeling well.  

Was it due to lack of animal protein? Or because of the fake meat (gluten) and soy products I ate on a daily basis, wreaking havoc on my guts, in conjunction with all the veggies I consumed?   Or because my macronutrients were so off kilter due to those granola-blueberry-soy milk breakfasts I’d eat after a workout?

Or all of the above?

I can’t say for sure.

But what I can share is how I made the shift.

I realized that if I were boycotting all meat under one heading, and basically categorizing the Monsantos and the Foster Farms with the smaller ranchers and farmers who were doing the right thing, I’d be doing absolutely nothing to lessen the demand of the former and help raise awareness of the latter.

And even if I chose not to eat meat or kill meat myself, if the overall big picture is considered, shouldn’t we advocate to support the animals to be raised in the wild and killed as quickly as possible, rather than effectively do nothing and rage against everyone who consumes animal products?

So back to the question: could I kill my own prey?

I want to be able to say with conviction that I could and I would.

But I cannot honestly write that until I am in the situation to pull the trigger.

Does it make me a hypocrite?

I don’t believe so; but I suppose it remains to be seen if I can actually do it.

And if and when the opportunity arises, you can rest assured I’ll share every last detail, specifically what would be involved from an emotional standpoint.

How about you?




[1] Murphy, Kate. “Blessed Be My Freshly Slaughtered Dinner.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Sept. 2015. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.

[2] Mark Zuckerberg’s New Challenge: Eating Only What He Kills (and Yes, We Do Mean Literally…).” Fortune. N.p., 26 May 2011. Web. 08 Sept. 201

[3] Stradling, David. The Nature of New York: An Environmental History of the Empire State. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2010. Prin