Food sources. Hunting vs. Farm Raised Meat.. a discussion

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Alright! Well. If I may.. One of the wonderful things about this here board is that we encompass users from all over the world. I would think that most the users here are from the contiguous 48 States 🇺🇲however, we have the whole world on this board.

We also have what I feel is the classic the "North" (I was raised in New York State) and then the "South" (anything Virginia and lower, as I understand it.)

I preface this thread with that because the topic was recently touched on, about hunting, and how that relates to a source of food.

I was invited to start a topic on the matter, rather than do a de-rail.

I'm not locked in to any perceptions I have about anything, so I feel that with the vast wealth of hunters, viewpoints, and people from different geographic locations, this could be a great topic.

So, let's begin..

TO ME, hunting and food are two totally different things. I've never hunted, never wanted to hunt, and do follow what I feel would be your more "Northener" view that hunting game could really only be justified if you are going to eat the animal. More on that later.

It IS possible that my view of not being a fan of hunting could be in the context of hunting for sport, buck antlers on walls, bears in poses in offices, trophy kills, things like that. Or even mink coats. "Fur is murder" was a popular protest point when I was young. Faux/fake fur? Fine. Actual fur? ... !

Now, with the vast population of hunters here. I would make one very key distinction that should basically put the matter to rest.. If you are hunting to eat, there absolutely isn't anything wrong with that! Why would there be? However you hunt, whatever you hunt.. You're feeding yourself. Why on earth would there be a problem with that!!

Now, let's pivot to how this ties in with food sources.

So. Everything I know from growing up etc has told me that "cows and chickens" .. okay, they are basically bred for the slaughter. The large expanses of farms, I know chickens they have basically "breeding houses" where the birds get as fat as they can and then they are both "harvested."

To me, Harvesting is not hunting.

I'm not sure how you could even compare the two. You have cows, which have no life other than to live and get fat and then die to be made into meat for our human consumptions, killed en masse in a controlled environment. Now, in real life, we don't have movies like Hard Target or The Most Dangerous Game, where humans hunt humans.. We hunt the animals, in the wild.

Those animals are not multiplied in a controlled environment. They are free.
Those animals will go on to have their lives, in the woods and wilderness, until they either die of age, the elements, or eaten by another animal. The way of nature.
Those animals only become food if the human imposes the will to hunt, kill, and then eat ?? the animal. This also is the way of the wild.
It seems totally different to me than the controlled slaughter houses that produce meat.

The books I have read about how some argue that meat is not good for you because of the high stress manner in which the fatted calf is killed, releasing endorphens and toxins into the meat aside, I am not sure how hunting could be compared to the way in which the meat in our supermarket comes packaged, different brand names, etc etc.

So then. I was told this could turn into an education on the matter.. So, with that.. I yield the floor! Let's let the information begin??
 

BlueOvalFitter

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When I "USED" to hunt I ate what I killed. Sometimes I killed too much, but would share it. Hunting, be it sport or for eating, has been around since mankind has walked the earth. I don't think early man was a vegan/vegetarian. And, I don't think he read those books you read. I support both, hunt for meat, hunt for sport. Sorry to burst your bubble.
When I Bass fish I catch and release most of the time. Do I score brownie points here?
I have NEVER hugged a tree before, and will not do so, EVER!
 

JT20

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When I "USED" to hunt I ate what I killed. Sometimes I killed too much, but would share it. Hunting, be it sport or for eating, has been around since mankind has walked the earth. I don't think early man was a vegan/vegetarian. And, I don't think he read those books you read. I support both, hunt for meat, hunt for sport. Sorry to burst your bubble.
When I Bass fish I catch and release most of the time. Do I score brownie points here?
I have NEVER hugged a tree before, and will not do so, EVER!

It's funny you mentioned fishing. We would catch and release when we were out on the lake close to the school. Recreation, I think it was. I fished a little but even when I was a teen I don't think I ever really liked it. Probably too impatient to wait for the fish to take the bait lol!

So, again.. I was told, I could get some education on how "farm-raised food source" isn't different than "hunting." I'm a little confused myself, but I keep on thinking.. The meat we get, presently comes with a little plastic piece over it from a freezer at the store. Of course, early man had to set the spear between rocks and let the lion or mammoth or whatever it was impale themself on it to eat. Modern civilization is absolutely spoiled in every way. First world problems.

I used to really like Earth Day, we used to make a HUGE deal of it when I was in the younger days in school and though my views have relaxed a little (a lot) more on what the environment of nature can handle and what it can't, in my heart, I always recycle. I am not sure if that makes me a "Tree hugger" but we do all live on this earth.. I don't know.
 

JT20

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I'm all for cutting trees down so man can use them. But, I am also very strong minded that for each one that is cut down to be replaced with a planted one. (y)

Oh I used to cut down trees too.

Trees, well, when you're clearing out your backyard for a pool.. You have to let the wood DRY so there's no sap in your firewood wood. Nice and dry.

Snakes used to shed their skin in the woodpiles.
 
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There is nowhere near enough wild game to supply meat to everyone who wants to eat meat. So most meat is going to be farmed.
 
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Nothing wrong with hunting in my opinion if you eat what you take. No different than picking up meat from the grocer. Hunting an elephant for an Instagram selfie is a different story..

As far as how meat is commercially raised, sure it isn't pretty but that is how meat can be sourced inexpensively for people. Unless you think people in your metropolitan areas should hunt if they want meat, what alternative is there? Trying shooting a deer rifle in NYC.

I'm very curious what the future is for the "future meat" that is plant based, etc. If they perfect that and it tastes the same, is healthy and less expensive, why wouldn't you eat that? For now, meat tastes better but in the future who knows. I like meat as much as the next person, but if someone offered me a "future beef burger" that tasted awesome and was better for me and I could still put a slice of cheese and ketchup on it I'm taking that over the alternative. They're getting better. I've heard stories of people serving "Beyond beef" to people and not telling them it wasn't beef and they had no idea.
 
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I hunted alot from the time I was about 10 until about 19 or 20. I didn't do anymore until 1999 and haven't hunted since 2003. I've never killed any kind of big game, ( I tried) but alot of birds. I've been active fisherman since I was about 8. I don't keep many fish. I don't like to eat fish. My wife does and i'll keep a fish here and there.
I guess I'm getting soft-hearted in my older age. I try to watch some of those "hunting" shows on t.v and it really bothers me when they show a deer or some other big animal, even geese or pheasants, getting shot. Then they have to show it over in slo-mo. Just tear at my heart seeing and animal run off with an arrow in it or a bullet hole spewing blood. I'm not against hunting in the slightest. I just don't do it. I may this year do some upland bird hunting with my daughter, but that's probably it. Just chukar, pheasant, quail, dove, etc.
 
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I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Southern Mississippi on 120 acres of family land that was surrounded by the Desoto national forest. Everybody in the family hunted or contributed to hunting in some form. It was common to kill 8-12 does at the beginning of the season to stock the freezers, and then hunt the bucks late in the season after the rut. Turkey season was open season.

We wasted nothing. Even the meat around the deer's head was cut off and used for stew meat. The deer's intestines were cut from caul and used for packing deer sausage. My grandmother would dry out the hide and make rugs, blankets, etc... The remaining bones and carcass were tossed to the dogs to munch on. We grew our own veggies and fruits on the land as well. We only had to go to the store for essentials like oil and flour.

We also had 2 big chicken houses that produced both egg and meat chickens. I remember having to get up at 530am to gather eggs before leaving for school. Then after school, I'd have to distribute feed, clean out the stalls, etc... I actually miss it. I was frustrated with it by my teenage years, and it was a driving factor for me joining the army after high school to get away from there and see the world. Now though... I'd almost give up everything to go back to that simple, slower way of life.
 
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As far as how meat is commercially raised, sure it isn't pretty but that is how meat can be sourced inexpensively for people.
The average person wouldn't believe the scale or size of the meat industry in the US or the rest of the world. I like how you refer to how "meat is commercially raised" vs saying "animals" 'cause in factory farming, more so with poultry and pork, they are not "animals" in my opinion, they are "parts".
 

AutoMechanic

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I can hunt however I can’t stand to watch them die so I don’t do it a whole lot and I hate the sight of blood. I won’t eat it but I give it to others because I won’t eat nothing like deer or nothing that’s not happening. Now fishing yes I can do that and I’ve cooked and eaten and skinned fish before and threw many back that weren’t big enough to benefit to eat. I’m a typical southerner I’d say grew up in the sticks for the most part too my family is from a really rural town on the west part of the state near West Virginia and Kentucky before we moved closer to Roanoke. And not all of Virginia is the south when you get to about Lexington or so it turns into typical city non south demographics as far as many things go lol. I do consider West Virginia to be south too as it is below the Mason Dixon line just not Maryland LOL. It’s typical where I am from to be a hunter or fisher or farmer. My sister owns a farm and does harvesting a ton.
 
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There is nowhere near enough wild game to supply meat to everyone who wants to eat meat. So most meat is going to be farmed.
Agreed, bu on the other hand, in our state numerous suburban/semi rural areas have huge over population of deer that are destroying the plant habitat of these areas. The local governments are implementing controlled harvests of the deer to reduce their population. The deer go to food banks if possible. There is not enough hunting in these areas to keep the deer population in balance. Deer destroy farm and vegetable crops, tree regeneration, landscaping, and create HUGE vehicle repair costs.

This project netted 3,300 pounds of meat to a local shelter.
 
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The premise of this thread is false. It sounds like you're somehow trying to justify eating meat from animals raised strictly for that purpose that you didn't kill and get your hands bloody. An animal had to die so you can eat that hamburger or chicken wings whether you killed it or someone else did.

Humans have unbalanced the natural order and eliminated the predators. If left unchecked in many areas deer for instance will quickly overpopulate because of the available food from farms then starve slowly to death in the winter. Like it or not harvesting, yes killing a percentage of the population allows the rest to survive more or less as intended. Hunters do this for free but if there aren't enough government has to pay as noted above to keep the population in check.
 
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I catch several hundred pounds of salmon off my front lawn each year (got about 400 lbs last year). We have a terminal hatchery fishery where the fish spawn down the street from my house by the tens of thousands. Since the fish are used only for egg harvesting and fertilizer/pet food, I have no problem filling a giant freezer full of them and giving them out to people I know. As long as the water is not too warm and the fish are fresh in from the open ocean, they are very high quality.

As far as hunting deer and stuff, it tastes good, but I hate cutting out an animal's anus and tying it in a knot, and other gross stuff like that. Plus, harvesting a deer or bear is a lot of work in doing it properly. So, I just trade salmon for deer and elk, etc. Salmon are super easy to process. Just gut, take the head off, scale the skin, vacuum pack it, and freeze it. Then it can be smoked at a later time as needed and can keep for several years if done right.
 
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Like it or not harvesting, yes killing a percentage of the population allows the rest to survive more or less as intended. Hunters do this for free but if there aren't enough government has to pay as noted above to keep the population in check.
That's why they allow the harvesting of all deer, not just bucks, in our semi-rural area. And I must admit, a doe is vastly better eating than any buck, period. Buck meat tastes like gamey garbage compared to a clean non-gamey doe or yearling.
 
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“Cows and Chickens are bred for the slaughter”....
Wild animals...”Those animals will go on to have their lives, in the woods and wilderness, until they either die of age, the elements,”

I am sure every chicken and cow born has expectations of living until they die of age, etc. You can’t breed in the will to March to the slaughter in a farm animal. Taking a life of a deer early for food is no different, no more guilt level there, than taking the life of a cow.
 
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People hunt for many reasons. When I was a teen, I too thought that hunting for meat was the only acceptable reason. Older now, I see that people gain many more benefits through hunting.

My analogy to avoid being a bigot regarding hunting is comparable to vehicle usage. I see vehicles mostly as an appliance. I accept that some people see them as toys (rock climbers, mud boggers), hobby (restoration), or lifestyle enthusiasts (sports car). Who am I to say it is wrong to sink money into these activities. The same goes for hunting.

Reasons for hunting:
1) I know some that love to kill things, anything. This disturbs me. Hunting solely for trophies bothers me, especially if meat is not involved.
2) Some love to shoot firearms for sport. Not me, but if meat is obtained too, whom am I to judge.
3) Some "hunt" as pest control. We kill mice and rats in our homes. Are cute Disney-fied raccoons that steal eggs/kill chickens different (why)?
4) Many hunt for meat, a few for subsistence and many for an additional benefit to other reasons presented here.
5) Many hunt for the recreational aspect of being outdoors. Yea, you could do this with a camera too, but see item 4.
6) Many hunt with others for the social aspect, camaraderie, etc.. I.E., deer camp. I used to hate the deer camp party idea. Now I understand.
7) Many consider hunting a BETTER way to harvest meat. How? Hunting wildlife living outdoors is much more natural and sustainable compared to the high input factory farm system we now have. Our farm meat production system is a topic of itself. Most don't realize how much input is required to get plastic wrapped meat onto store shelves, all nice, neat, and no "blood on your hands".
8) Spiritual connection. This one is deer to my heart (pun intended). I embrace the conservation ethic as described by Aldo Leopold regarding all of the natural resources: land, water, air, forests, prairies, deserts, on and on. Fish and wildlife are part of our natural resources. You don't understand our connection to the earth buying plastic wrapped meat in the grocery store. Hunting and gathering connects a person to the earth that sustains us. Store bought meat is just the opposite. It erases any connection to these systems that we have to manage responsibly. Yes, I have a reverence for the things I kill, process, and consume. I don't espouse joy in the act of killing. Laying hens confined to a small box in an egg factory seems much worse to me.

JT20's argument about farm meat is designed for consumption vs. bambi and thumper living wonderful lives out in the park is just that - the bambi syndrome. Can you imagine being a deer outdoors with no shelter when it is 33 degrees outdoors and freezing rain is pelting down on you?? You think that scrounging for food every moment of your life is enjoyable? Starving because there is not enough food is fun? Farm animals raised in a factory on grains and pharmaceuticals , herded into semi trucks, going down an assembly line and electrocuted-stunned/throat slashed to bleed out is better?????
 

OVERKILL

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@doitmyself well said!

I laugh at the attempt at disconnecting man-raised animals and their slaughter from the consumer, vs the hunter that gets their hands dirty. The latter breeds a far greater respect for the effort, process, and ultimately the VALUE of the life being taken to provide you with food. People toss aside half-eaten burgers, sausages, chicken fingers, chicken wings...etc. They had no involvement in the execution or processing/preparation of those animals, so where is the value? The respect for that life taken? Attached to the sticker price they paid? Hardly.

Do I buy store-bought meat? Yes. But I'm also well aware as to the other side of it. The meat I buy is free range, locally farm grown and locally butchered. There are two butchers I frequent, both of which operate similarly. I try to avoid product from these massive meat farms, but that's just a personal decision based on my perception of those operations.
 

JT20

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I think this thread is going quite well.

I don't have all that much to add to it.. An attempt at "pacing myself" (that's not really relevant to anything being said in the thread.)

I think this was a great suggestion for a topic, to the individual that suggested I make it one, and as to not de-rail the Squirrel thread.

Let's throw a curveball: Who doesn't like Disney....
 
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