Kale Chips Is Murder!
In our highly specialized society we are so luxuriously positioned that we choose whether or not to eat certain sources of nutrition based on abstract ideals. Then, just because we gotta divide and conquer everyfuckingthing, we describe ourselves according to what we don't eat and admonish those that do - which is why there isn't a scattering of humans currently abstaining from a particular food group just going about their own business. There is an organized movement of anti-thatfoodgroup people proselytizing the righteousness of their value system from the very narrow view atop a pedestal of privilege. Meat Is Murder! Gluten Is Satan! Dairy Is Disgusting!
Meat is murder (to use the most contentious one) implies that you either love animals or you kill and eat them. But what if you love animals because you kill them and eat them as many of the cultures that survive off hunting did and do? Douche bag psychotic trophy hunters aside, many hunters i speak to have a reverence for animals and specifically the ones they tend to hunt, that enters the realm of the sacred. There is a relationship between them, a communion. As samurai warriors believed that they took on the life force of the warriors they killed in battle, so to do these hunters. For the latter this life force comes in quantifiable measures of caloric intake and output of tools crafted from the animal's unedible offerings. In this way meat is murder and a life support system simultaneously, the duality recedes from this vantage point and we begin to see that there is no moral high ground in the quest for survival, only the traces of a spiralling cycle older than time.
In "Of Wolves and Men" Barry Lopez writes:
"One of the central questions about predators and their prey is why one animal is killed and not another. Why is one chosen and another, seemingly in every way as suitable, ignored? Wolves and prey may remain absolutely still whilte staring at each other. Immediately afterward, a moose may simply turn and walk away... or the wolves may turn and run; or the wolves may charge and kill the animal in less than a minute...I think what transpires in those moments of staring is an exchange of information between predator and prey that either triggers a chase or defuses the hunt right there. I call this the conversation of death..."
This conversation is central to life and is one spoken by all animals. Humans who dare connect with and honour their animal natures also contribute to this ongoing diatribe. In this way traditional hunters, whose manual weapons pit them evenly against their prey and who understand that hunting is not an exercise of domination but of intimate connecting, speak for the rest of our species. They do not own the animals, there is no sense of the animals being at the mercy of the hunter, there is only mutual respect and the dance of interdependent freedoms in what Derrick Jensen calls, in his book "A Language Older Than Words, "a ribbon of cooperation".
"The one God has set aside is dead on her feet, he looks through her eyes, he must help her to die." (3:43 - 4:06)
It is cruel to eat meat…that has been forced to stand teats deep in its own shit for months until it is executed by a human so desensitized to killing its kin that they may very well be texting while delivering the death blow. I applaud people who take their heads even partially out of their asses but feel we need to go further and recognize the extent of the cruelty we condone beyond the meat market. Because manipulating botanical life to the point of it losing its ability to grow without human intervention is cruel too. Emptying the oceans of fish is cruel, living in houses that encroach on wildlife habitat is cruel, indenturing a human labour force for the purpose of keeping kale chips on the shelves is cruel and on and on. The cruelty comes with the capital and we are all complicit.
The Neo-Colonial/ Capitalist/ Anthropocentric/ Carcinogenic/ KooKoo Bananas mindset has placed humans and the life forms most closely resembling us at the top of a hierarchy of perceived value, condemning the rest to thankless servitude in our struggle for planetary dominance. In this equation humans are not animals and animals are seen by humans as less than, they are desecrated and disrespected. How would you feel having some doughy human baby talk you while forcing you into matching raincoat and booties before going to the park where they watch you poop in some awful daily ritual you will never understand? I love you but I have to remove your nuts for your own good. I love you but your claws have to be pulled out because I love my furniture more. I love you but you've been bred into biological decrepitude for your cuteness. That's not love people, that's the stuff of an Alfred Hitchcock plot.
Meanwhile, back in the Apocalypse, we have to ask ourselves how we can best survive within this ecosystem to which we are chained by the very hairs of our chinny chin chins. How do we nourish ourselves in a way that keeps us connected to the reality we share with every living thing on this planet; from microbe to buffalo? When the Industrial Agricultural Complex falls and there is no longer a globalized soy profiteering racket for vegans to depend on, what will they eat? When meat eating requires me to be fit enough to run for hours under the scorching sun while keeping my senses hyper alert what will I eat? I can't even do simple math if I haven't eaten within the hour. I'm not saying we're fucked, I'm just saying we're pretty fucked. Still, better to burn out than fade away and there is a little time to train up within the illusory comfort of capitalism... best get to whittling!
A Recipe Ode to Kale Chips is Murder
Its only murder if you get caught
a quiver of cattail arrows
a patch of wilderness
-Observe the wilderness you found for the living things within it
-Identify what you will be tracking, meditate on what it is and how it lives
-Get even stiller
-If and when it comes into view, have a psychic conversation with it, explain in kind words why you want to kill it and what you plan on doing with its body.
-Run faster than you've ever run towards it, if it is still alive, break its neck or cut its throat with your knife to end its suffering
-Remove its skin/feathers/poisonous bits
-Hang upside down and allow the blood to drain out (collect the blood for consumption or craft)
-Roast on an open flame, contemplating life's rich tapestry and your own mortality
-Save the bones to make future nutrient dense broths