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Grizzly Weinstein
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April 2009
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Grizzly Weinstein [userpic]
Guilty Carnivore

This weekend I went to a goat farm for Samhain. It is owned by a friend of a friend. It is an eco-friendly, sustainable agriculture based farm. 10 (+5) acres off the grid on the Olympic Peninsula. I love the property. One of the things planned that I had some trepidation about was the killing of a goat for dinner. I was expecting some sort of earth ritual but there was none. As joystormer pointed out it was ritualistic in a way, just not what you would readily identify as such.

On of the reasons I wanted to see this is because I eat meat. I feel guilty about this; as I believe I should. Out in the city or the suburbs it is easy to forgo this guilt. Meat comes nicely wrapped and sliced in little packages. There is no thought of the slaughter-house. Once in a while we hear about how calves are treated for veal or geese for fois-gras. This disgusts us (some of us) and in my case I no longer eat these items. But we don't order our steak and think of the line of cows waiting to be decapitated in a machine. We don't think about their eyes or spend anytime wondering what lies behind them.

I was determined that if I was going to eat some goat, I was going to see it die. Goats are cute; the way their jaw moves when they eat is funny. The way the young ones look out the window of the barn when you approach is endearing. That they know there is something wrong when they are separated from the herd allows for debate as to weather they have instinctual reactions or some degree of intelligence. Either answer shows the ability to fear. I am grateful that Chaz sees this and probably much more since he is around them so much. Chaz doesn't kill the goat until it has finally relaxed and is happily eating some grain. He uses a 9mm through the back of the head (just below the bullet proof skull). It is very quick. It is still unsettling.

Someone thought that the people who had never seen this before would have issues with the skinning and cleaning. To me, that was nothing; it was just technical. There is no life there. I could even do the skinning and cleaning myself. The killing, I could never do. Perhaps this is hypocrisy on my part. I will eat an animal who has its life taken so I can eat it, but I will not kill it myself because I can not bear to kill. I am still killing via proxy by eating it. The result is the same; life has been taken by my actions either way.

Once the goat was dead I would have felt the most guilt if I had not eaten any. The life is gone and to not eat it would cheapen the killing. I even requested the liver be saved and cooked. I was disturbed at first that some were making light of the carcass and telling jokes when it was being cleaned and cooked. But I later realized I think it is great that the goat provided both nourishment and cheer.

The liver and the meat were really good. I can still envision the goat alive and eating and will remember this when I next have meat. I have come to realize that what is worse than killing our fellow creatures for food is that we never stop to appreciate the life that was our food.

I am still not a vegetarian but I have remembered to acknowledge what is a result of not being one.

Current Mood: guilty

Interesting read, as a fellow guilty carnivore.

Not guilty

Meat has never made me feel guilty, but it hurts me every time I must throw away any food because it is spoiled. I always pick my bones clean (to the amusement of many fellow diners) and/or save them to make soup.

Some would say that more people would be vegetarians if we knew wherefrom came our meat. I tend to disagree. I believe we would benefit from a greater consciousness of the dependance of life on life. We would probably eat less meat, and waste it less. And celebrate it more.

I really liked this post.
You are a very thoughtful and sensitive man.

Glad you guys had fun at the event.
I got alot done rearranging the studio,
will be cool to show you... you still need to pick out a print.

This is really good.

good indeed

i grew up on a farm, and it was my responsibility each year to bottle-feed and then wean a calf that was destined to be my family's beef for a year. i was always very fond of them, but i wasn't like the people in stories who can't eat the animal they've come to know. that calf was a male Holstein that wasn't breeding stock, destined to be veal if we didn't take him. that goat would not have been born if not to be eaten or otherwise used by people.
knowing where our food comes from leads us to a greater respect for it. i'm a big stock-maker and scrap saver. and i always enjoyed dinner a little more when i knew "who" i was eating. i would rather use leather and other breathable, biodegradable products than put more petrochemicals in the world. understanding that we are a part of the food chain is important to maintaining our environment.


All food is life in one way or another. People all ways feel guilty for killing an animal (I know since it is my farm and have done it) but I never hear someone feeling guilty for eating non animal food. Why? It was just as alive as anything else. I feel very strong about respect for life. All life. I feel just as bad harvesting carrots as I do in slaughtering livestock. Both must die. I don't promote one as being more worthy to life because of it's form. I definatly do not agree with the industries practices as regards to food animals. But then again I don't agree with the same industries practices as regards plant food stuffs either. Both are unhealthy for the life form in question, us, and the sustainability of our planet. I am very glad that people like our place and are willing to be open minded and to try things. It makes it more worth while. By the way we really enjoyed the weekend too.