I currently have a neatly wrapped little package of ground venison thawing in my kitchen. The fact that I eat deer meat often surprises people who know me. As anyone who knows me, knows that I love animals and am outspoken about the need to care for them responsibly. Because I am an animal lover, people assume that I would naturally be opposed to hunting.
Let me explain why that assumption is quite wrong. First of all, I think it is important to acknowledge that any form of meat production involves the killing of an animal. An obvious thing to point out, I realize, but important nonetheless. When you consider the entire lives of the animals involved (from birth to slaughter), wild game is perhaps the most humane choice out there. A deer that is shot by a hunter at least had the opportunity to be born free and live out its days in a natural environment engaging in its own natural behaviors. This in contrast to factory-farmed cattle which spend (at the very least) their final months in confinement in a feedlot, their final hours filled with stress. Factory-farmed pigs and poultry are even less fortunate than cattle as they spend their entire lives in confinement and a high stress environment, never able to fully engage in their natural animal behaviors. It’s a very simple decision for me as to which method is more humane.
Many animal rights advocates argue strongly against hunting, but I do not agree. I do, however, believe that hunting should be done responsibly and as part of an overall population management plan. As I have stated before, I do not have a problem with animals being killed for meat; but I do believe that we have a moral obligation to see that it is done in the most responsible way possible. There are those who would argue that eating meat at all is unethical, but again, I would disagree. Not killing animals for meat would have a host of unintended consequences. As there are few natural predators left here in North America, deer populations would explode exponentially; there would be no need to raise cattle in a domesticated environment (if we were not killing them for meat) and they are ill suited to survive in the wild; additionally, there is not enough undeveloped land to support all of that herbivorous wildlife that would be running around all over the place (just a few of the minor inconveniences that would develop if we ceased to eat meat).
Hunting is relatively humane, it’s sustainable, environmentally friendly, relatively inexpensive, and a healthy source of protein. I am fortunate enough to know plenty of people who hunt and share their bounty with those of us who do not. It got me to thinking about those of you who may not be so fortunate. So, I did a little research and found a company out of Texas that can ship game meat directly to you! Isn't that convenient? They have developed a method of field harvesting that enables them to sell meat that was not farmed or domesticated in any way; it is free-range, wild game. It is shot, skinned, and processed (in a mobile unit) all under the watchful eye of a government inspector. Their website has all kinds of fascinating information. Check it out at, http://www.brokenarrowranch.com/About.htm .
Venison is a great source of protein, the Vitamin Bs (B12, B2, B3, B6), Iron, and Selenium (which, when incorporated in protein helps fight cancer and heart disease). It is low in fat and nutrient dense. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=139.