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Is venison healthy?


Tampitump
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Figured I'd ask the smart people here this question.

 

I eat meat, but I'm still concerned with the ethical questions of meat eating. I don't see me ever giving up meat, so I'm thinking about trying to go about obtaining meat the most ethical way I can, which would undoubtedly be via hunting. I grew up hunting, and have always been told that venison is much healthier than any beef you'll find. I'm sure this is the case, but is venison a healthy food in general?

 

We can also discuss the ethics of hunting/meat eating if you guys would like to, though this is not the ethics forum.

Edited by Tampitump
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Venison is a healthy alternative to other forms of meat, although I'm curious why you think obtaining meat via hunting is the most ethical way of getting it.

Shooting a deer does not always rapidly end its life, while killing chickens can be done quite humanely.

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although I'm curious why you think obtaining meat via hunting is the most ethical way of getting it.

It runs wild and free its entire life, instead of being kept in a factory farming environment. It has a fighting chance for its life, instead of being doomed to be slaughtered in inhumane ways. Even if the shot is not very accurate, and it takes the animal longer to die, I submit that it still experiences less suffering than one in factory farming. If the shot is done right (which is usually is in my experience), the animal never sees it coming, it lived a free, happy life up until that point, and it dies with much less suffering experienced in its life than an animal kept in a stall and treated like an inanimate product.

Edited by Tampitump
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Just out of interest I checked how much meat is being eaten in US per capita per year - almost 100kg (I was amazed - much more than I expected). I also checked how many deer there is in US - about 30 million (mostly whitetail). I guess that the average deer weight is some 50kg. That is at max 1.5 billion kg of venison (had to look into dictionary about 'venison').

 

I am afraid guys that if you all decide to eat healthy meat in an ethical way, you will finish all your deer in several months :)

 

I guess, here in Europe we would finish all our wildlife before the dinner.

 

(and don't take this post seriously)

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My guess is that generally venison is healthier than meats which are farmed specifically for meat production. Ignoring the bigger issue of the ridiculous amounts of meat eaten generally, meat such as beef, pork and lamb/mutton have a significant amount of antibiotic residue. I can't claim to know what, if any, danger that represents to the consumer, but I don't see how it can be anything other than harmful.

 

I used to own a sheep farm, and I knew what neighbours did with sick animals. The obvious first move is to pump it full of broad spectrum antibiotics. If that doesn't work, the next option is to take it to the slaughterhouse while it was still alive, where you get a much better price than waiting until its dead and taking it to the knackers yard. So significant numbers of animals (especially older dairy cattle) are slaughtered when pumped full of antibiotics, and they finish up in meat pies or humburgers. That's not good.

 

As an aside: another tactic used, which I have seen for myself, is utterly sickening. This was in the UK where full compensation was paid to farmers when a cow was found to have CJD. That means that having a cow with CJD was not a financial loss, but a sick one was. One farmer I knew took a sick dairy cow and beat it mercilessly with a stick until it was a trembling nervous wreck. Then he called the vet who instantly diagnosed the symptoms of CJD. At least this cow did not enter the food chain, but some farmers are a lower form of life than the animals they keep.

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My guess is that generally venison is healthier than meats which are farmed specifically for meat production. Ignoring the bigger issue of the ridiculous amounts of meat eaten generally, meat such as beef, pork and lamb/mutton have a significant amount of antibiotic residue. I can't claim to know what, if any, danger that represents to the consumer, but I don't see how it can be anything other than harmful.

 

I used to own a sheep farm, and I knew what neighbours did with sick animals. The obvious first move is to pump it full of broad spectrum antibiotics. If that doesn't work, the next option is to take it to the slaughterhouse while it was still alive, where you get a much better price than waiting until its dead and taking it to the knackers yard. So significant numbers of animals (especially older dairy cattle) are slaughtered when pumped full of antibiotics, and they finish up in meat pies or humburgers. That's not good.

 

As an aside: another tactic used, which I have seen for myself, is utterly sickening. This was in the UK where full compensation was paid to farmers when a cow was found to have CJD. That means that having a cow with CJD was not a financial loss, but a sick one was. One farmer I knew took a sick dairy cow and beat it mercilessly with a stick until it was a trembling nervous wreck. Then he called the vet who instantly diagnosed the symptoms of CJD. At least this cow did not enter the food chain, but some farmers are a lower form of life than the animals they keep.

The problem isn't farming; it's farmers.

Or, if you prefer, the problem is money.

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Until you know what to look out for (in terms of disease of wild deer) then I might hazard that well farmed would be healthier - but an experienced hunter-for-food (and I know you have a lot of them in the USA - a few here IIRC) will tell you what to avoid and be wary of


One of my friends father hunts regularly for years now. I saw him dry the meat outside for weeks. I'm not sure if it's healthy as larva can breed in the drying meet - frankly, it's disgusting.

 

You eat the hung game when the first maggots drop to the floor!

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You eat the hung game when the first maggots drop to the floor!

Sounds realy yummy but I'll stick to steak.

 

Edit: That is so sick imatfaal. I was gonna eat some of that Mother's in law meat for dinner just now and Im having second thoughts. This is the reason I stay away from wild meat, besides it tastes like cheap perfume to me anyway.

Edited by koti
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This is the reason I stay away from wild meat, besides it tastes like cheap perfume to me anyway.

That's because you have become accustomed to, and like, antibiotic and steroid treated meat; it is the standard by which you judge everything else.

 

 

As an aside: another tactic used, which I have seen for myself, is utterly sickening. This was in the UK where full compensation was paid to farmers when a cow was found to have CJD. That means that having a cow with CJD was not a financial loss, but a sick one was. One farmer I knew took a sick dairy cow and beat it mercilessly with a stick until it was a trembling nervous wreck. Then he called the vet who instantly diagnosed the symptoms of CJD. At least this cow did not enter the food chain, but some farmers are a lower form of life than the animals they keep.

Not CJD; It's BSE. CJD is what humans get.

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That's because you have become accustomed to, and like, antibiotic and steroid treated meat; it is the standard by which you judge everything else.

 

Yeah, you are right. I try to avoid chicken and buy it from "ecological" sources. At least thats what I did when I had lots of it when working out a lot. I have a thing for steak though...after a hard workout eating a 500gr steak gives me such a rush that I dont even care about whats in it at that point.

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I was thinking more about just the meat itself compared to beef, rather than its potential for diseases or parasites. I've never known it to pose any harm of that sort to people where I live, people eat it all the time. I eat it when I have some. When you kill the animal, you field dress it (gut it), and haul it off to a professional processing plant, wherein you'll fill out a form telling them what processing options you desire (i.e. Steaks, ground/burger meat, summer sausage, breakfast sausage, jerky, etc.). I've never heard of anyone having health problems from eating it, but then again I've been known to be unattentive and aloof to many things.

Edited by Tampitump
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Well, actual health impact cannot be assessed just by asking around. Even if something had happened in your immediate surrounding it would be hard to pinpoint a particular souce. Case in point, if someone is diagnosed with cancer it is almost impossible to assess whether it is due to overall life style or a particular event, or series of events. That being said, I am unaware of long-time studies that compare e.g. venison to beef diets. Most papers focus on potential conaminants of venison (ranging from lead due to hunting to various parasites. Just looking at certain parameters, venison is, on average, leaner than most beef you typically get. But other than that there are to, to my knowledge, no large studies showing actual health benefits.

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Figured I'd ask the smart people here this question.

 

I eat meat, but I'm still concerned with the ethical questions of meat eating. I don't see me ever giving up meat, so I'm thinking about trying to go about obtaining meat the most ethical way I can, which would undoubtedly be via hunting. I grew up hunting, and have always been told that venison is much healthier than any beef you'll find. I'm sure this is the case, but is venison a healthy food in general?

 

We can also discuss the ethics of hunting/meat eating if you guys would like to, though this is not the ethics forum.

 

 

Would it help if the animal in question actually wanted to be eaten?

It runs wild and free its entire life

 

 

Are you wild and free?

My point is, we are all free (even farm animals), within given boundaries; a wild animal has to face adversary/pain/suffering on a daily basis to avoid death, a farm animal just has to eat.

 

 

Edit... Mostly.

Edited by dimreepr
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Would it help if the animal in question actually wanted to be eaten?

 

 

 

Are you wild and free?

 

My point is, we are all free (even farm animals), within given boundaries; a wild animal has to face adversary/pain/suffering on a daily basis to avoid death, a farm animal just has to eat.

 

 

Edit... Mostly.

its as free as I can possibly make it. The farm animals are GOING to die no matter what. They will be slaughtered. The deer living in the wild is not necessarily going to die from me killing it. It is not owned, bought, sold, or kept in captivity. It is much freer than the farm animal.
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its as free as I can possibly make it. The farm animals are GOING to die no matter what. They will be slaughtered. The deer living in the wild is not necessarily going to die from me killing it. It is not owned, bought, sold, or kept in captivity. It is much freer than the farm animal.

 

 

And the wild live forever.

Edited by dimreepr
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its as free as I can possibly make it. The farm animals are GOING to die no matter what. They will be slaughtered. The deer living in the wild is not necessarily going to die from me killing it. It is not owned, bought, sold, or kept in captivity. It is much freer than the farm animal.

 

From your point of view, maybe. But a free-range farm animal is well cared for, well fed, protected from predators, and even has vetinary treatment. They live a glorious existence, albeit a shorter one than nature would determine. During that time, their freedom from cares is greater than that of an animal in the wild. The life of a breeding ewe, for example, must be (relatively) wonderful.

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LOL... Me thinks it's you that needs to read again.

why do you poke on petty points when I know you know full well what I meant?

 

From your point of view, maybe. But a free-range farm animal is well cared for, well fed, protected from predators, and even has vetinary treatment. They live a glorious existence, albeit a shorter one than nature would determine. During that time, their freedom from cares is greater than that of an animal in the wild. The life of a breeding ewe, for example, must be (relatively) wonderful.

fair enough. I'm sure its not a cut dry thing. I still tend to think a wild animal has it better than a farm animal, even in free-range farming. Wild ones have their freedom and aren't bred to be slaughtered.
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