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The hard part of raising your own meat.

Over the last several months. I have shared my joy and fun at raising rabbits.   I really have not shared the hard parts.  There are hard parts to this and choices to be made.

One of the realities of growing your own meat is Butchering.  Those of you raising your own  meat, whatever that may be, are pretty aware of that.   I have handled this process fairly welll with those rabbits

 I have raised for that purpose.   I have found , however, that the true commitment to this lies in the occasional necessity to cull one of your named breeding animals due to injury or illness.  I was faced with this decision when my NZ doe got mastitis.  I have gotten used to the support of processing animals in community so,  doing this by myself  was more of a mental challenge.  Not to say I didn’t have offers of help, I did, but I felt it was important for me and the rabbit to do this together.   

I still feel very strongly that we should all know where our food comes from and the true cost of that food.  I do know that all my rabbits have a good and cared for life.  I have reverence and give thanks to each of them for contributing to the life of those I love.


This has been a year to learn about going to those places that make me uncomfortable and charging through them.  I hope those of you thinking about raising some of your own meat and processing yourselves go for it.  It will  bring you closer to living. 

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Comment by Kris and Jean on April 2, 2011 at 9:48pm
I don't think I can add anything more than you have written, and your tone says it all. I know I have struggled with the idea myself, and I am light years from being where you are now.Kris began culling and dressing out chickens in his early teens with the guidance of his mother, who was very stern that the animal be dispatched as quickly and respectfully as possible. He has also taken down and butchered an elk.
We both love animals intensly, and have had reptiles, mammals, tarantulas in our lives for years now. Recently we have seriously discussed raising our own meat, and emotions are high and conflicted for myself, and Kris says it is an experience you never forget.
I hope not to sound insensitive, however brava for your courage.
For now I will cower behind nicely wrapped and skinned chicken breasts, but the inevitable is looming before us. When one chooses to adopt a more conscious lifestyle it is not an easy choice. We are already eating more home-soaked dry beans to prepare for the transition, and tho we will not be ready till autumn to act out our plan it is still difficult.
Thank you for sharing/documenting your own experience for the rest of us who will be taking the plunge soon. The saddest part is how removed from our own food and life and death the main portion of us in the U.S. have come.I am sorry about your doe.

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