For Meat Eaters Only

I have to share the most amazing book with you.

A copy of Philip Hasheider’s The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making: How to Harvest Your Livestock & Wild Game appeared in my mail one day.

I set it aside and just recently cleaned up my computer area. There it was! Just when I needed it to break down rabbits from Abundant Acres Farm in time for our winter meal for the book this weekend. If you’ve never broken down a rabbit it’s not as intuitive as you might think it would be.

This book is amazing – it covers any big or small, backyard or wild game that you can imagine. The pictures are clear, the text is straightforward and there is nothing garish or squeamish about it.

I’ve attended classes on butchering before but it’s difficult to see everything up close. I feel like this book might be even BETTER than attending a class. You can spend as long looking at a particular cut as you like and the vantage point is as good as it possibly gets.

A lot of care has gone into making this book the next best thing to being there as possible, to honor the animals whose lives have been lost to eaters, and to providing recipes so that we might best honor those animals by ensuring no part of them is wasted.

And while I have no plans to start eating squirrels, possums and raccoons it’s nice to know how to process them. This book is so in depth that it covers frogs even.

I noted some differences in kill methods from what I believe to be the most humane or the simplest ones – namely the method for killing chickens was laying the chicken across a chopping block and cutting off the head while I prefer to hang the bird upside down and slit the throat (chickens are calm when upside down), and I prefer to dislocate a rabbit’s neck over stunning and bleeding them.

But as the saying goes – there is more than one way to skin a cat. Thankfully cats and dogs are not in this book.

If processing your own meat is one of those things on your life list I can heartily recommend this book.

Please note that the Amazon link in this entry is an affiliate link. They don’t amount to much but they do help defray my hosting costs.

3 Responses to For Meat Eaters Only

  1. I’m an oddball vegetarian who really enjoys reading about, thinking of and learning about home butchering and sausage making. I guess my philosophy is slowly moving from “could never eat an animal” to “could never eat an animal that was not raised and butchered with dignity”.

    Incidentally right now I’m pretty close to eating that squirel that buried all my filberts and didn’t even bother eating them.

  2. I just found your blog, and am so happy to find someone else doing what I’m attempting! I’m a bit further behind your efforts, to I can learn a bunch from your posts. We also have a very small yard, so we can’t do quite as much. We are getting our own meat rabbits to breed this summer, though, and would be happy to share our experiences with you. (We’re building humane, ground level barns designed for them to burrow if they like) Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll check it out.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Samantha. Good for you on the bunnies! It’s such a silly law in Seattle that limits you to 3 pets (goats, dogs, cats, rabbits) because it excludes a rabbit operation. I would LOVE to hear more about your barns since I’ve been thinking of how I’m going to do this humanely myself. The idea of anything living it’s life in a cage because of me just doesn’t stick with me. I’m so glad you stopped by!

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