Friday, March 7, 2014

A Few Thoughts About Killing

I recently wrote a post for Simple, Good and Tasty about cooking and eating beaver. I expected to get some feedback on the post but I didn't expect to be called out about the inhumane practice of trapping. I am not a trapper but I do support those who trap.  One of the responses to my post was a very frustrated comment about how trapping is inhumane and doesn't fit the standard of humane practice that Simple, Good and Tasty stands for. It got me thinking and I felt compelled to put down a few words about killing animals.
Because this is my blog and I don't have to be PC, I am going to refer to the killing of animals as killing, not taking, not harvesting, killing. That is after all what I do, I kill these animals so that I can eat them. That may sound a little rough but it is honest and I am not ashamed of it. It is my opinion that killing an animal for food is a normal part of natural life and there is nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with people who have made the choice not to participate in the killing of animals for food or people who prefer that someone else kills the animals they eat. 

My problem comes with the phrase humane killing, or humane slaughter. Killing is killing no matter how you dress it up. I don't have a problem with that but some people do, and because of that we use phrases like humane killing and harvesting animals. Killing is not humane no matter how you do it. No hunter wants to wound an animal and have it die an unpleasant death but while hunting or trapping things like that do happen. We hunters are not afforded the luxury of walking our quarry into a pen where they have their skull crushed with a bolt gun and then while they are stunned cut their throat and let them bleed out. That may be to graphic but it is a reality in most slaughter houses.
It doesn't matter how the animal lived, free range or not, in the end all livestock face a similar death. We have gotten very efficient at killing these animals but that does not mean it is humane.

As I have gotten older I have taken on the role of mentor to several people and helped them get into hunting. I hope that I have done a good enough job of conveying some of my practices to them. I don't expect everyone to start hunting or to even support it. I have made a choice to be an active participant in the process of getting my own meat. That requires me to kill and that it is not a responsibility I take lightly. Hopefully I will be able to pass that on to my kids, hopefully they will accept that responsibility.


  1. I disagree a bit. I think that the qualty of death is intrinsically connected to the quality of life and that a quality life is part of what makes for a good death. I won't say that death is good or easy but some are easier than others. I have killed a fair number of animals and all have died quicker and easier than my grandmother did in the old folks home. Most of the animals we eat will have a quicker death than we will.

  2. Thank you for pointed and very honest comments. There is a difference in killing an animal and torturing it to death.... For some reason, those that choose not to hunt, don't understand the very significant difference.

  3. Ok 1 problem with this, yes killing is killing and I have no problem I actually support it. but if there suffering in a trap for hours or shot wrong and bled out over hours its not humane they suffer a long time. A quick death like a shot to the head is less painful and hardly realize what happened before it's to late.

    So a question for the persons writing this
    -rather shot in the head, a quick faster death or...
    - shot in the leg and waiting to bleed out as your trying to run away from the scary monster with a gun

    And I think trapping is wrong cause how would you like it if I traped your leg in a bear trap and left you there for a few days then kill you, I bet u wouldn't like it vey much also you'd be scared shitless

    So fuck there's a difference how you die, if it's 'humane' or not I'd rather have a quick death, then practically tortured for hours on end till you get shit again or die of blood loss