The Best Meat is Illegal to Buy

There’s an article going around today on the audacious idea of making it legal to sell wild game.[1] If that doesn’t sound audacious, it’s probably because you, like most, had no idea that it’s illegal to buy and sell wild game to begin with. But it is.

I found out years ago after making the commitment to eat only non-industrial, pasture-raised meat. At the grocery store each week I would contemplate the varying degrees of wholesomeness of the meat being sold — outdoor access, free range, pasture-centered, etc. — the price going up the further the animal’s life moved from a federally subsidized grain diet in a concentration camp.

This search for meat that had lived and eaten well paved the way for an impossibly obvious thought. I had now and then encountered ruminants living pasture-centered lives with plenty of exercise while consuming robust grass-fed, twig-fed, bark-fed, berry-fed diets surpassing anything on the grocery shelf. Wild animals. Deer. The most nutritious, humanely raised meat wasn’t being raised by people at all but rather raising itself in the woods.

Super! I thought. I’ll just start buying venison. Will it be very expensive? Or maybe very cheap?

The answer, of course, was neither. It’s illegal to buy or sell wild game. If you see wild game like venison on a menu it either came from a ranch, or more likely, from another country.

This means most Americans only encounter the most responsibly raised, most nutritious meat on the planet when they slam into it with their cars or grimace as it rots by the roadside.

It’s just another part of American food culture that is both normal and absurd.

So because wild game has no commercial value as food, its primary value has devolved into sport — and one that is not widely shared. Now, at one end of the spectrum we have gun-toting country-boys who kill more deer than they can possibly eat and who feed half of it to their dogs. At the other end you have rifle-phobic sophisticates who can’t dream of eating an animal from the woods, let alone going out and getting one. And everywhere in-between? Too few.

One of the main culprits is this policy.

The sale of wild meat should be legal. Regulated, yes, but encouraged. People who like to hunt should be allowed to sell some or all of their legal limit. It would mean a sustainable, self-reliant means of generating income for those who love to hunt. It would mean the healthiest meat on the planet becoming more widely available to everyone.

It is just this sort of thing that makes the GMO industry so illegitimate. It labors under the lie that without it, we will starve. But starve why? Because they failed to make a single acre of over-worked earth produce yet another bushel of soy?

No, it will be a people who starved because they became so idiotically ignorant of what food looked like, or where it came from, that they did not notice food swimming through their rivers, adorning bushes in the forest, and bounding through their backyards.

And sometimes this is because we live under laws that turn us into fools.

[1] Link to Article, which focuses more on the nuisance deer have become having for the most part lost their natural predator — us.

[2] It would also mean more efficient use of the deer being harvested. For instance, instead of feeding Fido, you could sell the heart, liver, and kidneys to me and my girlfriend. And on top of all this, seeing our forests as food-generating places would make a strong case for taking better care of them and feeling an actual loss when they are clear-cut for less productive things.