Discover more from Off Grid Empire
Why I am Learning to Bow Hunt
Why You Should Too
Here is a dumb question: have you ever eaten meat?
A recent study shows that only 3 % of the United States say they follow a vegetarian diet. This means that 97% of the U.S. are meat eaters in some way shape or form.
What type of meat do we eat? Chicken and poultry are number one, followed by pork, and then beef -- surprisingly. Chik-fil-a has a great marketing team I guess.
But overall, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who has NEVER consumed meat in the United states
Every once in a while, someone will poke their head out of that sand and ask, Where does the meat come from?
This is a valid question and one that I have wondered many times myself. I think a more valuable question that should be answered first is this:
Do we really care where our meat comes from?
Studies and tendencies show that, no, we don’t. Fast food chains are growing and the population is too. This means the demand for cheap meat is on the rise.
NOTE: If you want to be more conscious about your meat consumption, and avoid veganism, then you found the right article.
Here is another question: have you ever killed and animal for food? Most people would say no, they haven’t. Over 90 percent of the nation hasn’t.
Surprisingly, I haven’t either. Honestly, it’s something I am ashamed of. I have been eating meat my whole life and I have never killed an animal for food.
It makes me sick.
But I aim to change that (I’m a punny guy, eh?).
Here is the reason I want to learn to hunt. Like most people in United states, I am incredibly detached from the meat making process.
I could (probably) go the rest of my life as many people do, just ignoring the disgusting efficiency the meat packing industry uses to “raise” and “harvest” meat for the populations of America.
Hormones, factory farms, and slaughter houses cheapen the meat. The taste and nutritional value is depleted in this process. Low quality products that don’t even offer the benefits that meat should offer, but marketed the same way.
There are many documentaries out there that do phenomenal jobs of uncovering the practices of the meat industry. You can also find endless articles about the good and bad of meat industry.
Mostly bad, to be honest.
If you’ve made it this far into this article, you may be asking, what the hell do we do? Is there a solution to the “meat problem”?
The “meat problem” is actually a culture problem too. As long as we consume the product, it will be made. (supply and demand)
If we as a culture decide that we are done with the meat industry, we have to make massive changes.
One Solution to ending bad meat practices: ban together as a country to boycott the meat industry.
This means no more buying fast food or grocery store meat (for the most part). Hell you could go vegan or vegetarian.
But even then, you have to worry about what farming practices are doing to the natural environment and animal species near (plant) farms.
But let’s get real, boycotting is not a viable solution for the 300 million or so Americans who don’t give a rat’s ass about where their meat comes from. Grain fed or grass fed, most people don’t care.
But I give a rat’s ass. I want to wean myself and my family off of factory meats.
And no, going vegetarian or vegan isn’t an option for me. I like meat. (that’s what she said)
Another solution: raise your own livestock or buy from local sources.
This is a good solution for many people. You may have to buy larger quantities this way but at least you know where the meat is coming from.
You may have to do more work, but you can support local farmers and get a higher quality product.
Yet another solution: Hunt. Learn to harvest your own meat.
This has been something I have struggled with. I have never hunted and I always viewed it as a cruel practice.
Shooting completely unsuspecting animals? Taking their lives? I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Hunting seemed wrong.
But I sensed my own ignorance. I decided to do my own research. I looked at both sides of the argument. Especially the pro-hunting arguments, which I disagreed with.
Anti-hunting vs. Pro Hunting
PETA is all about animals but they go too far. As I did my research, I realized that this organization is a JOKE.
Almost sounds like it’s run by politicians…
Only 2 PERCENT of their revenue ($33 million total revenue) goes to wildlife conservation. More than 8 times that amount goes to marketing and campaign efforts to raise MORE money.
They must be letting all that soy go to their heads.
Hunters, on the other hand, gave $1.65 BILLION to wildlife conservation through the purchase of permits, licenses, and excise taxes. Yes, billions with a “B”. (Go suck a veggie-dog, PETA)
Hunting 1 - Anti-hunting 0
But surely there are some good anti-hunting arguments, right?
No, not really.
If there is I couldn’t find it. And trust me, if there was, I would side with it! The thought of going out early in the morning in the freezing cold to TRY to kill an animal to then butcher it AND THEN pack it doesn’t exactly sound like my idea of fun…
Also, if there were solid arguments against hunting, vegans and vegetarians would NEVER become hunters….but they do
Often times vegetarians and non-hunters can be influenced by popular podcasts -- such as meat-eater and the joe rogan experience -- to make a lifestyle change and become hunters in order to eat meat again.
Good luck trying to get a hunter to become a vegetarian. The pro-hunting arguments are so much more logical than the arguments against it.
But I did find a couple decent arguments here that I decided to explore: https://www.thoughtco.com/is-hunting-ever-defensible-127868
ARGUMENTS AGAINST HUNTING:
Before I dive into arguments I want to talk about what I knew before reading these. Specifically what I know about deer in my neck of the woods.
I know that if hunters are not allowed to curb the population of deer then the other options are sharpshooters, sterilization, and contraception. These have had massive issues, including danger to the public, higher costs to taxpayers, and in the case of contraception, have led to HIGHER deer populations (because deer fuck a lot and the contraception wears off).
I also know that these don’t work great against invasive species, such as coyotes (female coyotes produce more frequently and larger litters when population is threatened. So if you kill one, two more take its place. CRAZY!) and hogs.
Basically, less efficient options that cost taxpayers more money. Less efficient because:
All of these options cost money. Hunting has permits, tags, and licensing costs that can actually fund contraception and other avenues of population control.
Hunters eat the meat or provide food for the hungry (check out hunters for the hungry)
BEST ANTI-HUNTING ARGUMENTS
#1 Let’s start with the best argument, which is that hunting is less effective than contraception
Contraception is not Sterilization. See this video: (
My rebuttal: As far as I can find, this argument doesn’t really hold up UNLESS talking strictly about deer populations in urban/ suburban areas.
But, in some cases contraception works. So I ask: Why not both? This is a complement to hunting, definitely not a replacement.
Outside of whitetail deer, this argument sucks. A big issues we are facing in the U.S. are wild hogs. Contraception doesn’t even make a dent in the insane population growth.
Not to mention, contraception is doesn’t have the same predictability that hunting does.
#2 Hunting accidents are more likely to be fatal. The article above states that nearly 100 fatal hunting accidents happen per year.
My rebuttal: People die. I’m honestly surprised this number isn’t much higher. I feel bad for these folks that pass away and I am a HUGE advocate for gun safety. Especially if hunting in suburban or urban landscapes!
Also, just curious, is this taking into account the people that die by the hooves, horns, teeth, and claws of the animal they are hunting? I’m not sure.
Overall, I don’t think this argument is any good and it definitely won’t keep anyone from hunting.
ARGUMENTS THAT MADE ME A BOW HUNTER
First and foremost, I wanted to decide this on my own. I hate factory farming so this is a decision that I had to make as a man of character (at least that’s what my mom calls me).
I felt as though society was making hunters out to be Elmer Fudd type people. Dumb, alcoholic, and violent. When in fact they aren’t at all. They are proud and self-reliant.
Two traits that are hard to find in the modern person.
I wanted to do my research and set out on a journey to experience this for myself. I’m not sure if I will fall in love with bow-hunting. But I am more that willing to learn a valuable skill.
Another reason is, I feel that if I don’t learn to bow hunt then I am missing out on a huge part of the human experience.
As a species we have been hunting with tools for THOUSANDS of years. I gotta get a piece of that!
Killing an animal with dignity vs. letting it die in the wild
Animals die horrible deaths. Many are eaten alive. Or die trying to escape predators. Many freeze to death in colder regions of the world or are mauled to death in warmer climates by predators.
Some animals like bears and hogs, will eat their own species if times get tough. They will even eat their own offspring.
When a good hunter enters the equation the animal can have a quick, dignified death. Hunters are proud of their kill and respect the animal far more than anyone else.
They also utilize most of the animal which can’t be said for factory farms.
Hunting is a solution to the following:
Overpopulation (Linai, hogs, deer) Too many deer and hogs have massive effects on vegetation!
Africa’s poaching problem
Funding of conservational efforts all over the world
2. Hunting and hunters are completely misrepresented by Hollywood and the government:(see the movie “split” where the hunter/ father is a sexually aggressive drunk.)
Overpopulation is a serious issue
Hunting teaches life-skills and is arguably one of the best skills to have
Hunters are by far the biggest contributors to wildlife conservation
Hunting is hard and takes practice and dedication
People virtue signal when it comes to being anti-hunting. Most people have no clue.
Best people to follow to learn more about hunting
Steve Rinella - Meat Eater
Big, fat, ridiculous questions:
Let me preface this discussion with this: I do not believe in a utopia. It is dumb to believe that everyone can get along and work on the same belief systems. It will never happen.
But let’s work on some hyperbole, shall we?
What would happen if everyone hunted for their meat?
No more factory farms. No farm to table. If you wanted a steak, breast, or sausage you had to harvest and process it yourself.
For starters, many people would die. Populations would plummet or people would eat a lot more fruits and vegetables. Most people don’t think of animals when they see meat. They think of grocery stores or restaurants.
But on the flip-side...
What if everyone just stopped eating meat?
I have no problem with someone being vegetarian or vegan.
But the number one reason someone stops eating animal products is because they believe they are making a difference by not partaking in meat consumption. But the fact is, they aren’t. Many are having the opposite effect.
In fact, I would argue that someone who doesn’t consume animal products is similar to someone who doesn’t drink.
Just because YOU don’t drink alcohol doesn’t mean there are less alcohol related deaths.
Or in simpler terms, not eating meat is not doing anything to stop factory farming, overpopulation, or poaching.
You should educate yourself and others about proper hunting and farming practices.
If you, like me, want to boycott factory farming of animals then clearly hunting for your meat, eating less meat, and buying local is the way to go.