By Tyler Fox
Now that I have your attention, let me preface the fact that I didn’t get the nickname “nature boy” from having a violent demeanor or thirst for blood. From the time I was a munchkin, I’ve been fascinated by the natural world and its abundance of animals and wildlife. On any given day after grade school, I’d go out on the back deck of our house and hoot my best dove calls. Their distant replies would put a grin on my face and we’d talk for minutes on end. Growing up, we had a dog, three black cats and I even got to raise a pet rat which I trained to follow me around my room and come to me when I whistled. My ultimate favorite were our family trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium where the wonders from beneath the sea had my face plastered to the plexiglass for hours. Apologies to the cleaning staff of 1989 for the copious amounts of drool and fingerprints.
Moving on…I want to thank you for being patient with me as you are probably wondering why the sinister title for such a G-rated story? Well, until a few years ago, I had never purposely killed an animal for my own consumption and the thought of me or anyone else for that matter stalking and shooting an innocent creature just didn’t sit well with me. Why go through the trouble and the heartache when I could just buy some marinated tri tip or a filet of fish from the market? One word: Disconnect. In our current age we are more disconnected to the things we eat than ever before. Many of us haven’t the slightest clue where our burger comes from, how that chicken was raised, or in what manner our ahi tuna was caught. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, The Beef industry is responsible for at least 18 percent of U.S. methane emissions—which have 23 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide emissions. And, how’s this for a shock? It takes 1,799 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef!
After learning more and more about the detrimental effects these industries have on our environment, I’ve changed up my routine a bit. I now only eat meat on the weekends and I’ve found a passion for spearfishing and bow hunting. These activities get me out in the elements where I actually have to work for my meal. It’s not easy and a lot of the time you go home empty-handed, but when you do end up landing a shot on an animal and have to go through the process of ending its life, I guarantee you won’t look at your meal the same. I’m not saying you should all go out and buy a speargun, bow, or rifle, but maybe visit a farm or fishery and see how the process works, and if you’re going to buy meat, do little research and make sure it’s local and harvested in the most sustainable way possible. Collectively, even the smallest of ordering decisions can shape our planet’s future for better…or for worse.
Tyler’s three favorite documentaries:
Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, Food Inc.