I know some people will object to this picture, because someone always objects to something, but the fact is that Deus Ex Machina and I are omnivores (just like every other human being on this planet) and because of that, we have made the - very conscious - choice to ensure that the meat we eat has been ethically raised and sustainably harvested.
It's why, very early in our homesteading endeavors, we added rabbits, why we raise the chicken we eat, why we were thankful to the young 4-Her who raised a pig for us this year, and why we are willing to pay a local farmer $3/lb for ground beef.
It's also why Deus Ex Machina decided to try hunting. It has nothing to do with male ego or wanting to kill or even the sport. It is about eating.
In fact, there is not a more sustainable - or ethical - meat than wild caught. One may feel whatever one wishes to feel about hunters (and meat-eaters, in general), but the fact is that this animal was never confined, lived exactly as an animal should be live, was never fed anything that its species should not eat, was never shot-full with chemicals or antibiotics in an attempt to make it healthier (but in fact slowly killing it), and had as good a chance of survival as not. This turkey was killed using one, single, perfectly placed arrow.
We are neither celebrating our victory nor mourning the loss of the life of this turkey. It's not about victory or defeat. It is, for us, about eating. And the fact of life is that everything eats and everything gets eaten.
We are very thankful for this turkey, and it will be a part of the harvest meal we have at the end of November, and while we do and will celebrate that Holiday with the rest of the country, for us, it has taken on a deeper meaning than some artificial show of patriotism or a glut-fest. Rather it is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves of the bounty that surrounds us, and for at least the last five years, we've taken this opportunity to really enjoy all our local environment has to offer.
This year, we'll be taking our celebration that one step further - and not just have local foods, but have truly native, truly local foods, some of which we foraged, some of which we grew, and our wild hen turkey will take the center spot.
With our gratitude.