I know this sounds incredibly barbaric and un-PC, but I wanted something to die as a result of my engagement.
Not just a spider—something that was large and could feed me. I had been considering buying a crossbow for this goal for quite some time, but got bogged down every time I read a review or watched YouTube clips of various models. Too much information and I was too clueless.
A few days ago I had breakfast with my friend, Calev, from Israel, and he brought his brother along. He is a hardcore hunter in PA and uses a crossbow. My eyes lit up as I pumped him for information. Three hours later I purchased a crossbow at Black Friday prices. 24 hours later I found a place to hunt. In total, less than 48 hours after my breakfast, I was cutting around the testicles of a buck on my way to field dressing my kill. Which means pulling out his guts and leaving them lie on the ground.
Here’s why this event is significant.
Identifying with all of humanity
The imagery in this article is offensive to some which is exactly why I’m using it and exactly why I wanted to kill something. Every single male in all of world history has done what I’ve done. Every single female (if she hasn’t killed a deer) has eaten meat that came from a killed animal. Only if you’ve lived in a first-world country like America for the past 70 years has it even been an option to be an outlier from human history.
Doing instead of dreaming
When there is something I’ve wanted to do, and I can do it, I want to do it. This wasn’t the time to dream about killing a deer. This was the time to kill a deer. I’m thankful that the pieces came together for me to check something off my bucket list. There are too many people who are long on plans and dreams and short on accomplishments and memories. What is there in your life that you have wanted to do, and you could do it, but you haven’t?
Experiencing new things
It is important to put ourselves in situations that are very foreign. In these situations, we expand our knowledge base and our humility. When I do new things I have to lean into the knowledge of others. Butchering a deer in my garage is a pretty extensive and intense experience for a newbie like me. Making an incision and grabbing skin and fur to forcefully separate hyde from muscle is not a normative experience. Nor is taking a sawzall to a ribcage. Both things I’ve never done before, so my senses were joyfully on overload. I’m thankful that my friend Matt was there to tell me things I didn’t know. I want to have more interdependent experiences that are new.
Increased gratitude for the food God gives me
Yes, I am more “food aware.” But really I’m more grateful. I’ve always been aware that food doesn’t come in a box on a shelf. I’ve always known that someone somewhere killed it, skinned it, butchered it, and packaged it. Eating your own deer meat isn’t the same as eating organic. Anyone can eat organic if we are able to spend a few more shekels. But taking time and energy to take something that was running, to now sitting on a plate, is an energy intensive process. I’m thankful that God has me living in a time period when I can have food every day, instead of just when I find a deer. I’m thankful that I can eat every day without taking a sizeable portion of every day to find food.
You may never kill something—but understand that someone else has done the work for everything you eat. Try new things and actually work on a dream. If we do things like this, we will have plenty of gratitude to lift our lives. I know enough about God and the Bible to believe that he is ok with me hunting and killing for food, and that he is not ok with complacency, ambivalence, or ignorance. That’s why I did it, and it felt great.