Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Does Raising and Slaughtering Your Own Animals Make You Violent?

To me it almost seems like a dumb question because we do raise our own meat animals and we're not violent at all. In fact it makes us value life more. We always make sure an animal goes as quickly and painlessly as possible and then we thank it for the life it gave us to sustain our own and honor it when we eat it.


But I've recently been seeing the violence argument a lot. One woman, at a community workshop, standing next to my husband, who does most of our slaughtering, made that bold statement and then followed it with "there are studies." Anyone who knows my husband knows it couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, he's a big bald guy with tattoos and piercings, but he's never been violent - he's what I would call a gentle giant. It really bothered him that someone would accuse him of that.


But he's not the only one that's had that statement directed at them. I've even been called barbaric by other meat eaters because I want to know the animal on a personal level before I eat it. I've also heard the "there are studies" line multiple times. I have yet to see these studies they talk about though.


So I ask you, have you heard this argument before and what are your thoughts on it?



Views: 221

Comment by Ginny Hopper on August 16, 2011 at 9:26am
I've tried to go vegetarian but I just get too hungry and crave a good T-Bone steak. I'm an animal lover myself but I was raised that "Farm animals are farm animals", they are not pets. We are hunters, gathers, farmers & ranchers. You know what's in your heart, you are earth connected and live a connected life. You live this life "In a Good Way". Raise your animals, cook your food and give thanks that you have the skill and knowledge to sustain yourselves. I'm eyeing the ever populating deer colony in my neighborhood and considering getting a meat grinder.
Comment by Aliza Ess on August 16, 2011 at 12:08pm
I'm reading the book "Some We Love Some We Eat Some We Hate"  that's all about the human-animal relationship.  I'm supposed to write a review of the book on here on the 22nd, so I will be posting more about it!  I definitely don't think there is a straight causal relationship between butchering your own meat and an inclination towards violence. A really interesting case in point in the book is that the Nazis were really pro-animal rights, and supposedly Hitler was a vegetarian. Definitely shows a complicated relationship between cultural violence and meat eating! Ginny's example of the deer colony is another good example. People don't want to shoot Bambi, but when you make the point of exploding deer populations or people get angry at their devoured gardens, then it becomes o.k. to eat "venison" (ah yes, the naming of meat to disconnect it from the animal!) It sounds weird but I have enjoyed showing my city neighbors animals both pre and post butchered, they often get grossed out but then kind of shake their heads and smile when they realize that they do eat chicken, bacon, etc. I think people have a strong visceral reaction to seeing an entire dead animal because of our own cultural attitudes toward death. I hope the more we reconnect people to "real" meat, the more people will become conscience of the true worth and cost of food. Of course I'm probably preaching to the choir on that!


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