Dear Farm Journal,
I have learned quite a bit over the last couple of days about the process of butchering an animal and canning meat. I started out in a state of repugnance, but as I worked through the meat, removing the silver skin and tallow, the feeling gradually diminished. I experienced a new gratitude for the sacrifice of the deer, a responsibility to use as much of the animal as possible, and a deeper appreciation for a high quality section of meat. Rufus and I chatted this morning about the reactions of people when we tell them we are canning meat. A lot of younger people are some combination of grossed out and intrigued, saying something like, “interesting” with a thinly veiled expression of distaste. On the other hand, folks of an older vintage perk up with bright eyes and eager questions, as if they had the great luck to stumble upon an obsolete artisan. The disparities in these reactions leaves me thinking about the lost arts of sustainability, the forgotten tasks of grandmothers, and the tragic extinction of homesteading skills.