As a high school English teacher in Botetourt County, Virginia, one of my favorite books to teach is John Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN. An important passage in this classic is when Lennie talks about the joys of living off "the fatta of the land." As a deer hunter, I well know what that means.
Saturday afternoon in Franklin County during Virginia's early muzzleloading season, I killed a deer, so during much of Sunday Elaine and I butchered the whitetail. If you have never butchered an animal, doing so is a fascinating experience. Elaine and I have now reduced nine whitetails to venison over the past three autumns, and we now have a much better idea of how to go about the skinning process, remove the loin, rump, shoulder, and neck meat, and package the meat so that it freezes properly.
We also have a much better concept of how Americans in centuries past lived, that is, how hunting and butchering made them closer to the land. Elaine and I experience such great satisfaction in supplying our family with food...from beginning to end - no need for us to go to a supermarket for meat.