As a somewhat new father of 15-month-old twins, I’m constantly finding myself enjoying tiny little moments with my kids that I never knew I would experience. Last night, my boy Sam, provided another great one — a moment for the ethical hunter archives.
My twins, Sam and Anna, have been eating solid foods for a long time now, and have tried a variety of wild game meats, including fish, goose, moose and whitetail. However, Sam is now a big fan of chicken meat. Sam has also been connecting pictures of animals with the sounds they make, including "baaa" with sheep, "moo" with cows and "bok bok" with chicken photos and drawings. Last night, my wife placed a piece of chicken on Sam’s tray and asked him if he wanted some. Sam held it up, then said "bok bok" and popped it into his mouth. He repeated this process several times with a pleased look on his face each time.
Not only was I proud of my boy for learning what chickens say, but the fact that he was forming a rudimentary connection between his food and its origins made the ethical hunter in me beam. You can bet my kids are going to know meat doesn’t come from a factory or grocer. Venison comes from deer, pork from pigs, beef from cows, etc.
Now, the day when Sam and Anna watch me bring home a deer and explain that we kill animals for their meat, completing a natural circle of dependence (you know, like the Lion King) doesn’t seem that far off. Nor does the day they pull up a stool to watch me skin and butcher a fat doe. Or, their own first hunts. These are the moments ethical hunters live for.