I wanted to write a little bit about the way that I eat. I think people who are interested in my taxidermy creations and curiosities may be interested in my murdertarian lifestyle.
My food choices underwent a major change after reading ‘The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter” by Peter Singer. Prior to reading it, I used to eat healthy-ish, but I wasn’t too concerned. This book showed me the implications of my eating habits. Most of the animals that people eat are raised in factory farm feedlots in very poor conditions. I was aware of this before reading the book, but not the details and extent. As soon as I finished reading, I knew that I would never buy meat from the grocery store or restaurant again.
I was raised on a small hobby farm and my husband was raised among hunters, so we had both been involved in the processes of transforming animals to food. Even though we do not need to eat meat, we were still interested in cooking it a couple of times a week. To have meat from animals that had been treated well and had not been exposed to medications (like antibiotics), we would have to become personally involved with animals once more.
Since we live in the backwoods, raising our own animals was not an option. We have coyotes, bobcats, a couple bears, and even the occasional lynx around our home. We cannot have a small scale farm without drawing in the local predators. Since the local wildlife disallowed me from raising my own animals, I looked to the wildlife for food. This was my first step into the world of hunting.
In the fall of 2009, my husband shot our first deer. Our deer died a quick death and we used all of the meat with little waste. Our deer ate naturally foraged food and lived a free life. Taking our deer out of the ecosystem that fall provided more resources for the remaining deer to help their survival during the harsh winter months. Some people have expressed their uneasiness with eating deer because “deer are cute”. My rebuttal is that cows are pretty cute too. Our deer lived a significantly healthier and happier life than a feedlot cow.
What do I call this new way of eating? We do not eat factory farmed meat. We eat animals that ourselves of someone we trust have hunted or raised well. We are not vegetarians… What about murdertarians!? This word randomly came to my mind one afternoon and it is some funny watching people’s reaction to it. Describing myself as a murdertarian is an interesting way to start a conversation and I am continually pleased with the discussions that follow.
Every day, every meal, I make the decision to eat healthy and ethically. I turn down factory meat at every restaurant, grocery store, and some extended family meals. I know what type of food I want in my body and I feel good about my food choices. My husband and father-in-law hunt together in the fall. My father-in-law has been an amazing resource and wealth of information. Our transition to murdertarians would have been much more difficult without his help. The fall of 2015 was my own first hunting season! I hunted partridge and rabbits (hares). I did not shoot anything, but I had some wonderful walks in the woods with a gun.
On average, one deer dies for our meat consumption for the year. For the past several years, my father in law has been moose hunting. One moose feeds his household of three and our household of four for the year. Last year, we bought four chickens from a friend of ours who raised them. I know where my food comes from.
The reality of an omnivore diet is that animals die to become meat. If you want to eat meat, there are local small-scale farmer who treats their animals well. In New Brunswick and many other places, there are also wild animals that are available with some training and practice in hunting. I hope this post helped you think about your food choices and why they matter.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to share 🙂