Recently, I read an article on Modern Farmer that talked about roadkill. It tried to make the point that roadkill was the most ethical meat you could consume. And I completely agree with that idea.
The article got me thinking about other ways we can get ethical meat. Roadkill really isn’t a reliable way to get food and could pose some inherent risks. The quality of the meat wouldn’t always be great either. Something as traumatic as getting hit by a car. In this article, I’ll speak mostly about deer hunting because it’s what I have the most experience with.
Hunting quickly came to mind because I’ve been doing it since I was little. Going out and killing a wild animal, to me, is much more ethical than keeping an animal in captivity and eventually slaughtering it. A wild animal isn’t confined to cramped and disgusting conditions, it’s free to roam in the great outdoors.
Not only are living conditions important when it comes to the ethics of meat, but the actual killing of the animal is important too. I know for a fact that harvesting an animal through hunting is much more humane than a slaughterhouse ever could be.
Often times when deer hunting, the deer doesn’t even have enough time to feel pain or get scared (with the exception of archery and underpowered weapons). Of course, shots are not always perfect, but I would say most of the time a hunter’s kill is extremely clean.
I remember the first deer I harvested. It was an 8-point buck and was probably around two years old. I was using a Savage Model 111 chambered in .270 Win. When I saw him, I lined up my crosshairs and slowly squeezed the trigger. I wanted to make sure the shot was placed correctly and that there was minimal suffering. Finally, the gun went off and the deer instantly dropped. No twitching, no running, just an instant, painless death.
Some of you may say that kind of death is abnormal, but in my experience, it isn’t. As long as the hunter is using a good cartridge, and places the shot correctly, there shouldn’t be much if any delay between the time the trigger is pulled and the time the deer is dead.
So in the end, hunting really is not a vicious thing at all. In fact, it’s one of the most ethical ways a human can eat meat. If you’re going to eat meat, why not eat meat from an animal that was free its entire life?
image credit: Kansas Tourism