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.


  1. NotDigginonSwine7:19 PM

    JULES Naw, I don't eat pork.

    VINCENT Are you Jewish?

    JULES I ain't Jewish man, I just don't dig on swine.

    VINCENT Why not?

    JULES They're filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.

    VINCENT Sausages taste good. Pork chops taste good.

    JULES A sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie. I'll never know 'cause even if it did, I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I don't wanna eat nothin' that ain't got enough sense to disregard its own feces.

    VINCENT How about dogs? Dogs eat their own feces.

    JULES I don't eat dog either.

    VINCENT Yes, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?

    JULES I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy, but they're definitely dirty. But a dog's got personality. And personality goes a long way.

    VINCENT So by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he's cease to be a filthy animal?

    JULES We'd have to be talkin' 'bout one motherfuckin' charmin' pig.


  2. Ben,
    Just say the word and I'll take you along on a hunt this autumn. Grouse and woodcock, maybe duck. Perhaps deer? Nothing better than venison tenderloin pan seared with a maple glaze. Talk about free range. Take about having a minimal ecological impact. It's great stuff. Like Aldo said, and I paraphrase here, the danger in not owning a farm in thinking all heat comes from the furnace and all food from the grocery store.