July 11, 2024

Article By Michelle Bodenheimer

They say, “You are what you eat.”

Many years ago, I reached an age of enlightenment and began to think about the food I was putting in my mouth.  Where did it come from?  How was it harvested? What was in the food I consumed?  Up until that point, the answers were simple.  Food came from the supermarket. I wasn’t yet a vegetarian. The author’s family harvests chukar, pheasant, quail and other game birds rather than purchasing chicken from the supermarket.

I will never forget the day in Health Studies class when we discussed the chemicals and hormones injected into beef; I discovered how veal is produced; I studied how chicken is “plumped up” for market. I was disgusted and swore I would never eat meat again.  These were the days before “free range” and “organic” were part of everyday American vocabulary.

At that moment I became one of the thousands of carefree young adults joining on the vegetarian bandwagon… with no idea where I was headed.

It was years later when I met my (now) husband, Todd, that I again thought about my diet. Set up on a blind date we had little in common- other than that fact that we both thought about where our food had come from. I was a vegetarian. Todd was a hunter.  It did not concern me that Todd “killed Bambi”. I knew he consumed the meat he harvested. The more time I spent with Todd, the more I realized he was on to something.  The meat in his diet was free range, hormone free, organic.  I was intrigued. Crawfish anyone?

With time, Todd taught me how to hunt and helped me enhance my childhood fishing skills. It was not long before I caught my first salmon. I shot my first grouse. I stalked my first elk. I learned to can, dehydrate, freeze and smoke food for preservation.  I filled my freezer and I knew exactly where my food had come from.

My love and appreciation for hunting has evolved over the years. Hunting has became more than filling the freezer, it has become my focus, my purpose, and my being. Through my harvests I have found myself. I have deepened my appreciation for nature and become increasingly grateful for the bounty Mother Nature has to provide. I have also become more aware of my need to be a conservationist and an activist for wildlife and habitat.  As I take from Mother Nature, I must give back.

Today I am defined as a hunter, a provider, and a conservationist. I eat, therefore, I am… and I am a hunter.

How does your hunting define you?


View Original Article at http://theshootingchannel.com/2013/11/25/path-enlightenment-vegetarian-turned-hunter/