Locked and loaded
Last summer, I bought my first gun. It’s not much of a gun, really – just a little single shot .22 magnum – but you sure as hell wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end when the trigger’s pulled.
I bought my gun for what I consider to be ethically defendable purposes: Namely, shooting helpless animals in the head. To date, I’ve dispatched a half-dozen pigs and two steers with my gun. And a hell of a lot of beer cans.
Shooting critters does not make me feel good. Sometimes, it makes me profoundly sad. But I do it because I choose to eat meat and because I believe that if I’m going to eat meat, I’m going to know what sort of life my dinner led and I’m going to be the one to bring that life to its end. If there’s any pleasure in it, it’s the pleasure in a clean kill and the quiet confidence that comes from putting food on your family’s table in the most elemental way possible.
This is not for everyone; this is not for most. But for me, it has become strangely addicting. Not the shooting, not the gory aftermath of loosing the innards, but the knowing of a way of life and skill set that’s largely lost in today’s industrial farm-fed society.
There is no economic justification for raising one’s own food; the industrial-farming model that is our food system makes it absurdly cheap to fill your stomach. But then, when I
raise my own food, it’s more than my stomach that’s getting filled.