Saturday, March 20, 2010

Persistence Hunting

This video got me motivated to get up and run yesterday. The videography is the outstanding in itself, but aside from the fact the San people can run down a Kudu until it nearly dies from exhaustion; the striking thing is the connection the hunter has with it's quarry. The San people have been hunting this way since paleolithic times. The hunter ceremonially thanks the animal for giving it's life for the hunter, and the hunter rubs saliva from the animal's mouth onto his burning thighs to relieve the pain from the hunt. Similar to American Indian hunters thanking the animal and eating the animal's liver in tribute (not to mention the large quantities of vitamins and minerals present in raw liver to replace the electrolytes lost in the hunt). There is a close respect for their environment and resources. The human race has nearly lost this notion under the guise of civilization and progress. We would benefit as a people to know where our resources, specifically our food, comes from.

When you think of dinner, do you think of the vine the tomatoes grew on or the herbs in the ground that make up the pomodoro sauce? Do you think of the feild of semolina field the wheat came from to make the pasta? Do you know the cow the burger was ground from hat made up the meatballs? My guess is no. You think of a box of pasta, a plastic can of spice mix, and a tube of ground beef. When someone says "steak," my guess is the picture that comes to mind is a red package cased in cellophone with a perfectly trimmed, one inch thick t-bone. Generally, I would be willing to guess the thought of Bessie the Angus doesn't come to mind.

The problem in this fracture from our food source enables CAFO's, factory farming, franken-foods, and the situation we find ourselves in today. Food is no longer a spiritual event (for most...), and we are feeding ourselves manufactured products made from inedible resources. We are becoming the cattle in the CAFO lot. We are bloated, unhealthy, ignorant masses waiting around for the end, refusing to believe it is near. We eat whatever is put in front of us.

I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be. I eat junk. I buy steaks from Wal-Mart out of necessity, and hate myself when I do. Economics plays a large part in all this mess as well, but I will not go into that today. I am trying to get to the point where I can buy grass fed beef, with pastured pork and eggs. I try to vote with my dollars and buy "fresh" produce along with healthy choices, but life gets in the way sometimes. I want to shop at farmer's markets. I want to have wild game in a freezer in my garage like my childhood, but it's not that simple. I live in suburbia. I travel a lot for my chosen profession. I can only do so much. The best I can do is See. I try to think about where my dinner comes from before it landed on the styrofoam plate under he cellophane. I stay away from the aisles in the grocery store. I vote with my dollars on produce over bar codes and nutrition info. I try to cook like my great grandmother did. I do my best, and i hope I can instill the same principles in my daughter.


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