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#61825 - 05/01/08 05:38 PM lost art
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1283
Loc: Canada
This is sort of not chicken related, but sort of is. (that made a lot of sense)

Here in BC we have recently been violated with something called the Meat Inspection Regulation. In short, no one can raise an animal, not beef or pork or poultry, and kill and process it for someone else. All animals slaughtered, other than for personal use, MUST be slaughtered in a government inspected facility. The cost to small local facilities to meet and install the oppressive and utterly pointless required upgrades, has made all of them close their doors. All animals must now be trucked hundreds and hundred of miles to be slaughtered at slaughter houses where all other animals from hundreds of miles around will be trucked. I doubt anyone will ever be guaranteed to get back the animal that they raised. How could they? Once the hide and head are off, one carcass pretty much looks like another.

At any rate, this is a crime as far as I am concerned, the work of a corrupt and tyranical government who sleeps with big business. But that's not the point.

There was a man locally who was a mobile butcher. He would come to your house and shoot, skin, gut your animal and haul it to the local meat cutter of your choice. There were also mobile and stationary poultry processors in this area. Now they have all gone out of business.

I talked with the mobile slaughter guy during his last month of work. He was angry, understandably, that a way of life as old as this country has been deemed illegal. That the salt of the earth small farmers who used to feed their neighbours have been branded criminals for the act of ethically raising beef on a non-agribusiness scale. This is third world terrorist tactics we expect of insane dictators...and we have a raft of them slithering about the halls of power here in British Columbia.

The mobile guy also said what was sad was that old generation farmers who used to do their own butchering have stopped doing it themselves. It's a big job! You need the right equipment and the knowledge. He said they have not passed this ability to slaughter onto their children. That now there are very few who actually know how to process an animal to the point where it goes to the meat cutter. We have lost the art.

As gas prices go up, trucked in food is costing more and more. You'd think local rural populations would DEMAND access to local beef (and other livestock) at a lower cost. No. We stood like idiots and took a blow to the head.

I want to encourage everyone here to preserve the art of raising, killing and cleaning poultry. If you know how to process beef or pork, this is something our kids need to know, even though it seems unimportant to them now. If local farmers no longer know how to kill and clean an animal, we are really in desperate straits, aren't we? When we can no longer feed ourselves, the govt has us right where they want us, don't they? In Candad that looks like cold, hungry and unarmed. No, I do not believe in conspiracy theories, but I know bullshit when I smell it and this is it!

If you are able to put your own bird into the freezer, share this process with someone. With your kids or grandkids. There may come a day when what we know will be of great value! I think it's of great value now. Never thought I'd see the day the local beef guy was considered the same in the eyes of the law as the guy who sells crack to local teens. Lord help us!

#61826 - 05/02/08 11:48 AM Re: lost art
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
Oh, Uno, Some of us are old enough to remember when many, if not most, of our neighbors kept a cow. We all raised the bull calves for meat, raised at least one pig for hams and bacon every year, and always kept chickens for eggs and meat. The boys took care of the Beef and Pork, from start to finish--and cut the meat into proper cuts, by hand--bone saw and knife. (knew how from their fathers) , and we all wrapped and labled the pkgs, on an assembly line, later divided by family and sometimes taken to be frozen at a Plant, then back to our freezers. My husband was the expert in salting the hams and bacons and later smoking them, plus an electric grinder made the burger, and the sausage, links were almost professional, and not to be replaced by anything in the markets today! Some of the sausage was smoked--with my husband's special seasoning--and no record of what it was, but the smoking was special!!! Sad.....

I had two sisters-in-law, who got together and butchered, picked, cleaned up to 100 chickens every year. (This was after we all had freezers.) Chicken was canned when I was a child. A few others, who wanted a few of the birds, came and helped--all done outside--Fran chopped heads, Glady dunked in the big pot kept simmering, others picked feathers off, and the pile of feathers grew (to be buried by one of the husbands after the project was completed-)-the men did the cleanup, but not the butchering and cleaning of the birds! Birds went home accordng to the plans--and the rest took place in our own homes--up to the "into the freezer"! It all took place in one morning.

A big garden grew vegetables for canning--later, freezing, root crops went in a root cellar, if you had one. (We did not, but I would still like to have one.) There were several divisions in some of the root cellars, for winter apples, that do not like to be stored with the carrots, cabbage and squash. Kids helped with all chores--ands still had time to play "work-up" at the school yard after school and weekends--and play board games and cards, when it was rainy or snowy!

All of this could be done in the time we watch television nowadays! Sitting. And don't blame the higher cost of food just on CORN for Ethenal. The farmer is STILL not getting much for his work--cost of machinery, FUEL, FERTILIZER, SPRAYS keeps "small" farmers land rich and cash poor, and only the owners of largest farms do not have another job off the farm, just to make ends meet. There are now so many "middle" processors, shippers, handlers, that the farmer still gets the short end of the food $--but think how many get their wages from that farmer's work! Without the farmers--you would not have jobs OR food! (and that includes, cotton, wool, leather, etc. products!)

If the small farm and small acreages cannot even be allowed to share their bounty, then, must we live in areas of wall to wall to subdivisions--(and is gone forever along with the money)and be hungry--but we can keep our TV for "entertainment"? The families who live on the land, small farms--are truly in greater trouble than forecast! Farm living is a very satisfying way of life--and it is being choked to death-- There were 26 Dairies in our valley 35 years ago--and now the last two will have no place to market their milk locally, as the one remaining Processor is closing in June. Tough luck for the many cows that must be milked twice a day--and no place to send the milk!! If trucks could not reach our valley easily, well, BIG HUNGRY! And we could feed the whole poplulation of the valley--grown by 20x in the last 15 years--with a wonderful variety of foods--year around--meats, fruits and vegetables. (Oranges and bananas were special when I was a child--) We could be self sustaining with healthy huge variety of foods grown and raised here. But all farm products are shipped out, processed and packaged elsewhere, and sent back to us, at high cost of transporting and handling, with the price UP with each handling!!

If you raise chickens--if you do not know how--LEARN to butcher, clean and freeze the best chicken you will ever eat! Upland gamebird hunter in your family--or a friend who is??--ask for help!

Sorry, I had to get that out-- I will remove it later! Patronize your Farmers Market! CJR

#61827 - 05/02/08 07:31 PM Re: lost art
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1283
Loc: Canada
Don't you remove one single thing, CJR! You don't ever need to feel sorry about speaking the TRUTH and that's what I have heard from you on this post! The truth.

I am in my mid 40s, pretty bloody old if you ask me. I remember my dad raising and butchering beef. People helped him, people went home with beef. Same when I was a kid and all the Aunties would come out for a chicken killing and everyone went home with birds for the freezer. Us cousins would run through the fields and fly kites. I remember that weird little smoker my dad built once when he and the German neighbour made sausage together. Neighbour had a cow die suddenly and did not know what to do with it. He called dad and said, if you will come and deal with this cow, I will show you how to make sausage and we will share it. Dad drove off to help the neighbour, they made sausage together, and I have never had better sausage before or since.

It seems to me that in the 'olden' days, feeding your family was sometimes a community venture. A group venture. The burden and the bounty were shared in equal measure with family and friends. What has happened to us?

I think this Meat Inspection Regulation has killed a way of life . A way of life that was hanging on by the skin of its teeth to begin with. I feel very, very angry over this Meat Inspection Regulation. Furious that we STUPIDLY stood by and let it happen to us. Sad that local trade in chops and chicken is AGAINST THE LAW! Terrified that this would happen in Canada. I despair.

Before I limp off to cry in my beer, CJR, your talents and experience are appreciated on this forum. But you better write a book. smile You better write your memoirs. Phone Oprah and tell her to come to your house for an interview. Remember once I asked if you'd ever read The Egg and I? I love that book, it made me wish for those times. I think you ought to put pen to paper! Thanks for letting me rant. Remove NOTHING!

#61828 - 05/20/08 08:23 AM Re: lost art
Ckvchestnut Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 346
Loc: Canada
Uno, wow I hadn't seen your post until now and I am right with you! I am not sure if Ontario has that law - yet! But I am NOT looking forward to it if/when it happens! They are making it harder and harder for not only local and small farmers to market their produce but for consumers to have access to local, fresh foods! I read about the 100 mile diet - fat chance around here. I live in the country - on a farm and when I go to the local supermarket - nothing is local! Except sunflower seeds and the odd seasonal veggie/fruit - NO meat though. Government wants/has control of what we eat and who supplies it, that's why I now live on a farm - grow our own and to teach our children to be a bit more self sustaining for when they grow up! We are new to the small farming stuff but, the learning curve is vertical and we never regret making this decision. We didn't grow up on a farm but our fathers were both hunters and we grew up on food brought home from nature - we were shown the cleaning process and butchering and of course the best part - cooking, smoking and preparing! Anyways eye opening topic - sad but true!


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