Friday, May 20, 2011

Button Mutton

You may remember us getting Button over a year ago.  We purchased her from a big farm where she got basically no human interaction.  She never got used to us.  Last summer we tried tethering her out to munch on fresh grass in the front yard, but she got loose twice.  Each time of trying to catch her was horrible.  So, finally, she was resigned to a life of never EVER leaving the pasture.  And I couldn't check her for worms.  When she was lambing, I had to stay a good distance away.  What if she needed help?  Well, too bad.
So when she birthed her replacement this spring, we decided to cull her as soon as Nina was old enough for weening.  And because she's at least 2 years old, likely older, we knew she'd be pretty strong on that mutton flavor.  Sausage it is.

Last Saturday, Husbandman and I (mostly him) ended her life and readied the meat for grinding.

A couple days later a neighbor woefully said, "I could NEVER do that.  I don't know how you kill something with eyes."

My response... "Oh, I didn't know you were a vegan."

Lest anyone say I'm heartless, I really did not CARE for Button.  She was a pain in the butt.  Because of her I had to do more work.  Because of her, Daisy (who's actually Esperanza's lamb) is also skiddish and tends to run from me.  Yet even still, I couldn't take her life without pause.  It's HARD to look at something with the miraculous breath of life and know that in a few short moments, by my hand, that life will be gone. 

But if you insist you "could NEVER" do anything but outsource your unpleasantness, you have no right to eat animal products.

Don't tell me you're an animal lover while conventionally raised meat stocks your freezer... and you likely eat it daily.  Don't tell me what a horrible person I am for taking responsibility for my family's food while the animals that feed you and your's live sick, miserable lives.  Don't act like not seeing those animals suffering as they do, its suddenly a different piece of meat on your plate.  Like if you didn't kill the animal, then the meat must have been harvested humanely with no loss of life.  Afterall, hasn't the food industry genetically modified cows to regenerate their own steaks yet?

I digress.  Anyway, Husbandman then took chunks of deboned meat to a friend with an electric grinder.  We found a recipe from a book in the library titled The Venison Sausage Cookbook.  It called for various spices, onions and garlic.  Nothing unnatural.  And thus he turned that meat into some of the best sausage we've ever eaten.  There's not a ton of it.  Maybe about 20 pounds worth.  But its good and will feed us for almost 6 months.  While processing the meat, our friend (an avid hunter) said he'd never seen venison as stringy as Button's meat.  We're guessing she could have been pretty old.  I'm very glad all that sausage spice is able to make it all taste good though.


  1. I agree 100%. We raise animals and hunt. I am always amazing how many people look down on us for this, we are part of the food chain. Thanks again for a great blog.

  2. Hi! I saw you mentioned over at Roscommon Acres and clicked over! What a neat blog! We are doing something similar, but we are in Texas. No, I don't think I could ever kill an animal to eat it, but then again, I AM vegan. =) I enjoyed your perspective and agree with you. =)

  3. You are amazing~~~~ WOW~ Will you come visit us down here sometime and tell us what to do so we can learn these skills for ourselves with one of our bucks? It was so nice meeting you all at the Purple Cow Festival yesterday. And thanks for friending us on fb, too~ Blessings<3