Saturday, March 1, 2008

How do you really feel??

Part of my wages each year is 2 hogs and a beef. We are talking USDA certified Grade A Black Angus corn-feed prime beef. The kind of beef that you would pay $35 or $40 dollars for at quality steakhouse. Well marbled, tender, succulent beef.

The steer is taken to a local locker to be processed, hangs in the cooler for about 10 to 15 days, and then cut, wrapped and packaged. Last week we got our 1/2 of a beef from the locker. We usually get a half a beef at a time cause we don't have freezer space for 800 to 900 lbs of frozen beef.

Now the locker where this is done is a private business which serves a local clientèle. Most of the animals he processes are directly off of the farm, done for the family that raised the animal. Sometimes he will process meat which a customer buys from the farmer. In any case, he works with quality meat, for customers who want the very best.

Be patient, I'm getting there.

Iowa is known for having some large deer, as well as a very large deer population. The first weekend in December often sounds like rural Iowa is a war zone with all the gunfire in the distance. If you don't hunt deer you're considered to be some sort of freak. A lazy worthless, good for nothing couch potato, who fails his civic duty to help lower the suicidal quadruped population. When the act of hunting has become a sporting event in which the goal is not really to kill something and eat it, rather to kill something and stop the long legged varmits from reproducing. What one does with the animal after successfully ventilating said animals hide, is a secondary question in many peoples thinking.

Their actions follow along this general train of thought. Kill Bambi = good. Less car accidents, less danger to mankind, fun activity to do only a Saturday, and also an excuse to get very drunk. Only after Bambi has assumed room temperature does the typical hunter consider what to do with the carcass. Some literally leave the animal lay in the woods, these are the type that consider anything that moves to be a fair target, and would never make the effort to do anything other than pull the trigger.

The second group like to eat venison, consider the opportunity to hunt, a way to put cheap meat on the table, and I might add would eat kangaroo and anything else that moves, if given the opportunity. These hearty types generally process the deer themselves, because as well as eating something like venison, they are also a little on the penny pincher side, in other words, their cheap. They would eat bad tasting venison even when they could go to the locker and buy some home raised beef, cause it's cheap.

The third group is where we get to the crux of the matter. Often times the third type, shoot the Bambi, then have a discussion with themselves about what to do with the thing. "Dude, I don't what to cut it up, you do it". Or "lets take it to the local locker and have a professional cut it up". So I have seen literally hundreds of deer carcasses piled up outside the locker.

The owner of our local locker does not appreciate this kind of customer. First they often really don't want the meat anyway, so they wind up giving the a meat to charity or some such thing. Second they sometimes do not pay the bill for processing Bambi. Leaving the locker owner with a pile of meat he can not sell. It is illegal to sell venison harvested in open season. And he used his valuable time cutting up Bambi instead of focusing on the normal customers who would not consider venison worth the time to eat, they want corn fed beef.

So in honor of his disdain for the deer hunter population, and the Bambi they bring to his shop to be processed, the local locker owner has placed in a prominent place, just inside the front door, this visual devise to show his contempt for Bambi.

Insert your own caption here.