How to Slaughter and Field Dress a Cow for Year-Round Meat

KJ Barber
By KJ Barber April 7, 2020 12:15

How to Slaughter and Field Dress a Cow for Year-Round Meat

Editor’s Note: Today’s article idea came from Left Coast Chuck, one of our most esteemed group members and commentators here on

If you have considered slaughtering a cow for the first time, this article will give you information on what you need to do and consider before making that first step. It will walk you through the basics of slaughtering and field dressing.

Before any slaughtering begins, the following is recommended for 24 hours leading up to it:

  • Choose a healthy cow
  • Stop the feed 24 hours before slaughter
  • Do NOT stop access to water
  • Keep the cow calm, to prevent issues with bleeding

Pay attention to the upcoming temperatures, because nights below freezing will help the carcass to properly chill, with no need for refrigeration. If it’s above freezing, the meat and carcass will need refrigerating.

Slaughter Preparation 

Make sure the area you choose to do the slaughtering is dry, clean, and dust-free, such as a well-drained grassy area.

Everything should be clean before you start the slaughtering, chilling, and processing stages, including:

  • Equipment
  • Work Area
  • Storage Area
  • Clothing
  • Hands

Before you start, you should know that you can chill the carcass, without refrigeration as long as the carcass temperature doesn’t rise above 40°F. The carcass should also hang in a clean and dry building, free from contamination and odors, while it’s in the aging process.

Related: The Ultimate Meat Processing Charts for Preppers

Don’t Let the Carcass Spoil

Here are a few causes of the carcass or meat spoiling:

  • Improper Chilling – Internal temperature of carcass should be around 40°F, within 24 hours of slaughtering.
  • Improper Freezing – Packaged meat should be frozen at 0-6°F, for up to a year.
  • Poor Sanitation – The slaughtering, chilling, and processing areas need to be clean and dry.
  • Odor Absorption – Any strong odors within the processing area, will most likely be absorbed into the meat.

Basic Equipment

You will might want, at minimum, the following items for doing your own slaughter:

  • Stunning device (such as a 22 caliber rifle)
  • Block and tackle hoist, or hydraulic lift
  • Beef spreader (such as a tree with hooks, on both ends, and a center ring)
  • Skinning knife
  • 6” boning knife
  • 8” butcher knife
  • 24-26” meat saw
  • Clean and cold water

As mentioned, this is the minimum you will want to have on hand.

How to Stun and Kill the Cow

This process should be done as humane as possible. If you choose to use a rifle, follow guidelines for firearm safety. The targeted shot should be at the intersection of 2 imaginary lines from the right horn to the left eye, and from the left horn to the right eye.

How to Bleed the Cow (done IMMEDIATELY after cow drops)

Immediately after the cow is down, bleed it. Standing behind the cow, use a sharp skinning knife to slit the throat, from the jaw, through the carotid artery. The cow should now be brain dead and won’t suffer.

A cow holds a LOT of blood, so expect it to take at least a half hour for it to bleed out.

Related: The Ultimate Chicken Meat Processing Guide for Preppers

How to Skin the Cow

Use the following steps to skin the cow. With the cow on its back, take the following steps:

  • Remove forefeet and shanks (at the knee) by cutting through the flat joint. The hind legs should be skinned out at this step as well.
  • Holding the skinning knife on a flat angle, split its hide from the opening (the front of the brisket) to the midline of its belly, to the bung.
  • At the rear, split the hide by the hind of each leg (starting where the shank has been removed), going towards the udder (or scrotum) area. Wait until the carcass has been hoisted to skin the hind outside (and front of legs).
  • For the siding step, glide your knife under the cut skin over its belly, grasping the loosened outer skin to pull outward and up. Firmly place the knife against its hide, keeping the cutting edge slightly turned to the hide. Using long strokes, you can now remove the hide down the sides of the carcass.

Open the Carcass

If it’s a male, remove the penis before you start to open it. Once the skinning is complete, cut through the brisket center, then use a saw to cut through the breastbone.

There is a white, thick membrane covering each round muscle in the pelvis area. Use that as a guide to follow, which can help in avoiding a cut into the muscle. A knife could be forced between any soft cartilage joining the pelvic bone. If the cow is older, the pelvis may need to be sawed.

Now it’s time to hoist the carcass. Insert the hooks (of the beef spreader) into the hind legs’s tendons. Once the carcass has been hoisted, you can finish skinning.

The bung can be removed by cutting around it, on both sides and back, then pull it through the pelvic cavity. Continue to pull both the bung and the intestines, while you cut the ligaments which attach the intestines to the back.

Pull on the paunch in order to loosen it from the carcass, then cut the esophagus, near the diaphragm, letting the paunch and intestines to drop.

Next, remove the liver, then the gallbladder.

Make sure the head is off the ground, then cut out the diaphragm in whole. Pull the heart and lungs down and forward to cut out the large blood vessel that is attached to the backbone. You should remove the esophagus, heart, and lungs as one item.

After it’s completely skinned, the head should be removed. You can do this by slicing across the neck (through the atlas joint and above the poll).

The internal organs, and dressed carcass, should be examined for any abnormalities that could have a negative effect on the meat.

Related: The Ultimate Wild Game Meat Processing Charts for Preppers

Splitting the Cow Carcass

The carcass should now be cut into two sides, by sawing completely through the sacral vertebrae. Do this from the inside. Once the cut is through the pelvis area, it would be easier to continue sawing through the back, making a split down the backbone’s center, to the neck. To help with balance, leave the neck attached to the carcass.

Look for any excessively bloody, or soiled and bruised pieces of meat. To help drain blood from the forequarters, pump them (up and down) a few times.

Next, use cold water to help wash the carcass and remove dirt and blood.

The appearance of the carcass will be more appealing if you shroud it with clean and wet white muslin. Make sure the shrouding is tight and secure with ties or skewers. This step will help the exterior fat smooth out while it chills.

Age the beef before cutting it, using the following guidelines:

  • A carcass with a thin layer of fat – 3-5 days
  • Thicker layers of fat – 5-7 days
  • Fully covered in fat – up to 10 days

Any longer than these recommendations will increase the risk of unwelcome odors and even spoilage. Keep in mind, if the temperature of the carcass goes above 40°F at any time, the time for aging should be reduced. In fact, if you find that the temperature has risen above that, start the process of cutting up the meat.

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KJ Barber
By KJ Barber April 7, 2020 12:15
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  1. Homer April 7, 14:43

    When I learned to kill and butcher: we cut through the brisket and reached in to arteries at the heart and cut them to bleed the animal out. Also, butchering is dangerous and safety first when handling the knives and saws. Texas A&M lost a professor who made an improper cut and stabbed himself and died. He was working alone.

    Reply to this comment
    • Sbm April 15, 01:44

      You need to be very careful not to cut into any organs like the intestines or gall bladder while still in the carcass or you risk contamination of the meat , this is a very important rule to remember!! Also make sure your knifes are sharp , a dull knife is dangerous!!

      Reply to this comment
      • red April 16, 14:29

        Sbm: Carpal tunnel syndrome with meat cutters is caused by not keeping a razor edge on the knives. niio

        Reply to this comment
  2. THM Papito April 7, 16:37

    Great article. It would’ve been perfect had it been augmented with a diagrams, pictures, or graphics showing the cow’s anatomy. Yes, of course, this info is on the internet… am just commenting that the article would’ve been (more) complete.
    Thanx, none-the-less, again, great article.

    THM Papito

    Reply to this comment
  3. left coast chuck April 7, 16:56

    Thanks, Claude for the article.

    Sounds like a two-man job at a minimum and if they are old like me, probably a four-man job.

    I understand some folks are using a chainsaw for splitting the carcass. Any comments on the pros and cons of using a chain saw for carcass splitting?

    If I understand the article correctly, here in SoCal, lacking any kind of refrigeration such as after an end of the world event, the meat would have to be cut up right away as in many parts of SoCal, temps below 40° are rarer than an honest politician.

    Reply to this comment
    • tnandy April 7, 20:31

      I use an electric sawsall, which is similar to what they use in commercial slaughter. Works fine. We do a large steer once a year to 18 months. I built a walk-in cooler along with a meat cutting room on the back of the garage after years of taking ours to various custom slaughter places with varying results.

      I do the initial kill in the round pen at the barn, then hoist it up on tractor front loader to my shop to do the skinning, gutting, splitting. Then haul the suspended halves up to the house, where I cut off front quarter, letting it down on a roll around Rubbermaid cart. Roll that into the cooler and use a small chain hoist to get it up to hooks in the ceiling of the cooler……repeat for the other quarters. A quarter often weighs 200lbs, so that is all I can handle.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck April 8, 04:42

        thandy: Thanks for the hands on advice. There is nothing so authoritative as someone who has been there and done it. You must be a couple of years younger than I. I KNOW I can’t handle a 200 pound quarter. Where are those two strong young men that IvyMike talked about?

        Reply to this comment
        • tnandy April 8, 11:53

          I’m hitting 70 this year Chuck.

          The key is the tractor front loader to do the heavy lifting, the Rubbermaid cart to roll the quarters into the cooler, then the little chain hoist (Harbor Freight, 500lb model) to ratchet the quarter up to where I can hook it on the ceiling hook. Ceiling in my cooler is about 8’6″. Hooks are chain hooks I welded to a pc of 3/4″ all thread, and ran thru a beam above the ceiling level. Hook is about 8″ below ceiling level. I use some big, 1/2″ stainless hooks for the quarters. Short pc of chain on the ceiling hook, then connect the chain hoist to the ceiling hook…raise the quarter off the cart until the meat hook will go in a link in the chain…back the hoist off and repeat with the next quarter.

          No way can I deal with an entire half like they do commercially…..I don’t think two young men could hoist 200lbs of fresh meat up to a hook.

          When it ages enough in the cooler, I take a big breaking knife and large bone saw and cut part of a quarter off and let it down on the cart….front quarter, for example, I’ll cut it between the chuck and the rib section (which has the rib eye steaks), and let the rib section ease down on the cart rolled underneath. Roll that out in the room, slide it over on a stainless table and work it down into package cuts.

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck April 8, 18:12

            tnandy: At age 70 I was still doing 100 mile a day bike rides, but regardless, I appreciate the detail you went into in your two posts about slaughter and handling the carcass after the animal is on the ground. In my view that information was as important as the basic article itself. Handling 1,000 or even just 200 pounds of dead weight is a huge project and folks who have never done it don’t appreciate how careful one has to be trying to move that much weight. A thousand pounds of dead weight on you will suffocate you. It is all too easy to injure yourself trying to just move that much weight on the ground, rupture, injured back, torn ligaments. All of those injuries could easily spell your demise in an EOTW situation.

            Reply to this comment
    • IvyMike April 8, 01:09

      Two strong young men working and one of us old poots supervising.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Terbear April 7, 17:38

    Just remember what happens to cattle rustlers horse thieves and outlaws.

    Reply to this comment
    • red April 8, 14:46

      Ter: Yeah, dem judges slap them on the wrist and tell ’em be good boys now! Of course, on the rez, things are just a hair different 🙂 niio

      Reply to this comment
  5. Redlist Renegade April 7, 17:58

    Why just slaughter a Cow ? EAT the ELITE !!! When the food’s all gone and times are hard just grill ’em up in your back yard (They’ll taste absolutely Fabulous smothered in lots of very tasty Barbecue Sauce and you’ll hardly notice any “difference” at all) !!!

    Reply to this comment
  6. John April 7, 18:41

    Oh please…NOT A COW !!!

    The appropriate animals are either a steer or possibly a heifer.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 7, 23:58

      Well, John, if it is the end of the world and it is on four legs and wandering around and wife and I are wondering where our next meal is going to come from, I might not think long term and eat the cow. Depends upon how long it has been since we last had anything other than dandelion greens.

      Even so, cows do eventually reach the end of their reproductive life and at that stage are candidates for the stew pot.

      Reply to this comment
      • red April 8, 14:50

        chuck: Canners. 6 weeks stuffing herself with grain and you can’t tell the difference between Bossy and a 2 year old. Other than that, sausage! And, the meat tastes better than ‘baby beef’. Range fed on irrigated pasture is in. A neighbor, Mercer, is getting 4K for a carcass. niio

        Reply to this comment
        • Ched April 21, 13:39

          I agree with your comment red it is it is tasty. Baby cow meet is call ville, I need’s much more expensive than regular beef!

          Reply to this comment
          • red April 21, 16:28

            ched: Veal is so expensive because its milk-fed. We’re not much for eating baby anything. Comer fall, maybe 50 rooster chicks and caponize them. A capon can be kept toll 6 months old and is still tender. And, best of all, it tastes like real farm-raised chicken, not mushy-meat. Any breed works and last years, some hatcheries sold rooster chicks for as low as 65 cents each for smaller breeds. niio

            Reply to this comment
    • petryss April 8, 06:44

      The appropriate animals are whatever needs to be slaughtered. Might be a steer, a cow, a coon, coyote, rabbitall are the same basic principle.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck April 11, 16:56

        Except possum, seagull and perhaps crows. Everyone who writes in has agreed possum is pretty nasty stuff. Guess we all just haven’t been hungry enough yet. Oh, and maybe California condors (which aren’t really California condors any more, they are imported from Peru or Ecuador or Chile, I forget which and made naturalized citizens without the five year residency requirement.) Every day I say a prayer thanking God that the pterodactysl died out when they did otherwise the bambiests would have to have sanctuaries for them too. I wonder if it was lead bullets that led to the extinction of the pterodactyls?

        Sorry for the political rant. I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

        Reply to this comment
        • RK April 13, 14:33

          LCC, possum is good if prepared properly. My grandma used to pen them up & feed them bread & milk for a week though I don’t think it made much difference.
          I think the objection to eating animals that eat carrion is the belief that they are nasty. Chickens will & do eat almost anything especially if they are free ranging. Ever seen one eat a plump tic off a dog? Or a slug? Throw them some spoiled pieces of meat & watch. Even some of their own droppings. Many of the things we eat devour things objectional to us.

          Reply to this comment
        • red April 14, 19:32

          chuck: Donno. If I miss a week with nothing but greens, bbq of seagull would look tasty. and I hate the taste of fish, uless it’s flame broiled over an open fire at came..then seagull would taste like flame broiled fish. 🙂

          Reply to this comment
    • red April 14, 19:29

      John: Canners are usually 10-15 years old and non-productive. Cows are more than appropriate. Honest, I’ve never attended a funeral for Bossy, except when she went in the freezer. “Alas, poor Bossy, I knew her well. Pass the bbq sauce, please.” Better her than those old bulls off the nature reserve in Texas. those are best for hotdogs and baloney.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Jim April 7, 18:46

    prior to starting to skin the cow if you make a small cut above the knees on hind legs and insert an air hose you can blow the cow up which separates skin from connective tissue and it is much easier to skin the animal.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 7, 23:55

      Good tip if one has access to an air compressor. Have to try to remember it. Given the size of my property, the chances of my killing a cow on my premises are pretty slim, not to mention the neighbors and assorted petty bureaucrats would start showing up and interfering with my butchering task.

      If I have occasion to have to butcher a bovine, I will most likely do as Carnivore does, and ground butcher and cut up on the spot.

      That said, good article.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Carnivore living off the land April 7, 18:51

    I ground butcher. Using the hide as a work table. I don’t age the meat I like it better fresh.

    Reply to this comment
  9. JE April 7, 18:57

    To aid in clean up, get a wash tub to drop the entrails into, much easier to move the stuff around( examining and disposing). Get the hide off as fast a possible so the cooling can start faster. If you have it, use a brief pass of a propane ditch torch to crisp any hair or other debris on the carcass.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Ted April 7, 19:56

    It would’ve been nice to have some pics! I don’t know what most of the words mean!

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 8, 00:03

      Ted, this isn’t meant to demean you or ridicule you, but if you don’t know what all of the parts are in this article, I would strongly urge you to do some on line research.

      As part of your preparation for a apocalyptic event, you absolutely need to know what those animal parts are and be able to identify them not only in bovines but other animals also.

      Go the the sub article with this article that talks about processing meat for different animals. Print it out and study it. Save it as part of your preppier library.

      Reply to this comment
  11. rebelgray April 7, 21:43

    Having butchered my own beef several times, I would like to mention a word of caution & safety. Sometimes the animal can still kick You after it has been put down. It’s a reflex or possibly the animal isn’t 100 % expired. Either way, always use extreme caution because You many end up with a broken hand, leg, or worse ! Enjoyed this informative, well detailed article. Thank You

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 8, 00:08

      Reb: You need to do that with any animal that you think is dead. How many times each year do we read about a hunter attempting to put his “dead” game in his vehicle only to have it suddenly do a Lazarus act and be very much alive and annoyed with being molested by the hunter.

      There are even examples of the animal coming “back to life” as the hunter is driving down the road with disastrous results at least to the vehicle if not it AND the driver.

      Good Advice. You sure don’t want an annoyed 1000+ pound animal regaining consciousness while you are in kicking or goring range.

      Reply to this comment
      • EddieW April 8, 02:18

        My cousin Vanny “killed” a doe out of season and stuck it in the trunk of his car, got home and shut the garage door, then opened the trunk!! the doe chased them around the car!! about 4 times before Vanny could get the garage door opened!!! letting it go!!

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 8, 04:48

          Vanny is not alone. There every fall there are several stories about hunters who thought they had a dead animal only to discover some time later much to their chagrin and dismay that the animal was not only not dead but was now highly agitated (pissed off perhaps?).

          Hunting tip: Make sure game is really really dead before attempting to load into vehicle.

          Reply to this comment
      • rebelgray April 8, 15:52

        You are correct Left Coast Chuck. I witnessed a young hunter straddle a nice sized buck to cut its throat to bleed out. I knew better myself. The buck jumped up knocking the guy down and ran a few more yards before expiring. He learned a valuable lesson that day without anyone in the hunting party saying anything to him ! Safety is definitely paramount when dealing with any kind of animal. Never let Your guard down.

        Reply to this comment
  12. red April 8, 00:00

    we used to do this at home, but wow, was it a lot of work + farm chores. If you feed treats to livestock, that keeps them calm. When the steer was stalled (closed into a stall for a few days) they got a measure of sweet feed, too. It got them used to being around people, and they learn fast to look forward to it. niio

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 8, 04:50

      Red: It sounds as if your cattle were not range cattle but were penned or otherwise limited in their area and were accustomed to being around people. Did I interpret your post correctly?

      Reply to this comment
      • red April 8, 14:45

        Dairy and beef. both were pastured most of the time on the mountain. The beef saw us in spring and winter. Dad refused to have a Jersey bull because they’re killers. But, even a range cow if penned and grained grows tame enough. Like the saying goes, the hog is the only animal that will bite off the hand that feeds it. Even dairy cattle will kill you. this is why folks in aggie call going to war a vacation. Hogs ran with the cattle till winter, then were brought down to their shed and the young pigs sold, The sows had a fling with the boars. 🙂 Dad was a welder and worked 3rd shift, so we did it the old way. niio

        Reply to this comment
  13. Gomer Kyle April 8, 02:58

    I just rent a Vermeer tree grinder and make hamburger meat for 12 months

    Reply to this comment
  14. Spike April 8, 03:34

    Absolute minimum caliber to put the animal down should be 22 magnum. Bigger if the animal is an older cow or bull. I tried to put down an old dying cow with a 45ACP with 3 shots correctly placed and they apparently couldn’t penetrate the skull. A 357 mag worked real well but I was sick from knowing I didn’t kill her cleanly with the first three shots.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 8, 04:58

      Back in the days when the only bullets generally available were round nose fmj bullets or lead round nose bullets, the .45 apc or .45 Colt were kings of the hill as far as handgun stopping power. Today with the variety of bullets available for handguns, I would use a heavy for caliber, hardcast semi-wadcutter in a high velocity round as the coup de grace shot. A 180 gr. hardcast .357 or the same in a 10 mm or a 200 gr. hardcast .41 mag would all do a humane job I think. A .22 magnum might be all right from a rifle for a younger animal even a hard cast 100 gr. .327 Federal from a long barrel pistol. I would definitely use a hardcast, semiwadcutter style bullet though, no matter what caliber I used.

      Reply to this comment
  15. HakimAsif April 8, 10:05

    Why kill a animal that has life and precious life!!! All life is precious a cow is more useful than a lot of so called humans that are killing each other and destroying the planet!!
    What gives humans the right to slaughter animals when they themselves are the last ones to come onto the planet and animals were on earth long before mankind ever set foot on it??

    Reply to this comment
    • red April 8, 15:50

      God did. My ancestors sinned by allowing a murderer to remain among them. Worse, he was a rapist, raping and killing his mother. Because [people didn’t not cast him out, God punished humanity by sending snow. Crops died and people started to die. the animal aspects of God came to Old-Father and pleaded with Him to help us. He refused by they offered their furs, their feathers and flesh. Old-Father came down and told humanity, unless they eat and wear something from animals each day, they sin against their sacrifice for us. All life is not just precious, but holy. I’m a predator, Bossy is food. I know it and she knows it. She knows when she dies, I’ll ask her forgiveness. If I kill an animal, a bird, or anything without good reason, I just sinned against God for it. I have a rattler that lives out back. she comes in the garden after dark to hunt ground squirrels and packrats, which would eat the garden and can carry a lot of diseases. I let her alone and even put out pans of water for her. A neighbor found two that had hibernated under her bathtub. She told the kids to be careful. One left, the smaller one is still there.She no longer has a mouse problem, so the other will leave, too, some night. If you read the Bible, you see under the law, animals have rights, and Israel is trying to bring back the ecosystem destroyed in the 1890s. Everything hath its place and there’s a place for everything. niio

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 8, 18:04

      Hakim: You can afford to be picky about what you eat when there is plenty. In an EOTW situation as a vegetarian or vegan I predict that you will have a short life span. We absolutely need fat and protein and animal products are the most plentiful of those necessities. Only with the abundance of plant farm products are folks of the vegetable only persuasion able to sustain themselves. When your plant diet consists of what you are able to forage, you will expire quite rapidly and miserably.

      Even the Japanese of old with their buddhist philosophy of not killing animals still ate fish. They got around the problem of killing animals by making butchers outcasts or Eta. Personally, I don’t see a difference between killing fish and eating them and killing land based animals and eating them. I’ve had whale meat and it’s good. Tastes like high grade top round steak. I don’t have a problem with hunting whales for meat. We just need to exercise control so that we don’t exhaust the resource. You don’t eat all the wheat you produce. You save some for planting next year. You don’t kill so many of a species that there are none left to reproduce or so few left that they can’t re-establish a sustainable population.

      Even humans, as prolific as we are, need a minimum population in order to self-sustain. Some geneticists have figured out the number of humans necessary to survive and it is a surprisingly high number. And, of course, they have to be close enough together in order to reproduce. If you have ten in Oregon and ten in New Mexico it ain’t gonna happen.

      Reply to this comment
      • HakimAsif April 9, 00:53

        If I am gonna live longer because of eating meat by taking the life of another living animal then I don’t want no part of it! Your argument is like someone making a case for immortality and stating that you can achieve eternal youth by eating a human flesh, would it be ok then according to your logic to eat a human flesh so that one can achieve immortality??
        Also who were on the planet long before humans?? It was animals so what gives mankind the right to butcher animals for their benefits??

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 9, 03:04

          Well, Hakim, I am not interested in living forever no matter how achieved, so if eating human flesh would achieve that, I would pass. On the other hand, self-preservation is such a strongly imbedded instinct in the human race that I would wager a significant sum and I only bet on absolutely sure things, that in an EOTW situation your take on life would take an immediate 180° turn. You haven’t eaten anything for a whole week. Your stomach feels like it’s twisted in a knot. And you happen on a can of Spam. Well, the animal is already dead. It is immaterial to the pig involved whether you eat the Spam or not. Do you hold to your principles and pass on eating the Spam? Or do you rip the top off and scarf that stuff down like it was the finest filet mignon? Or world class tofu, if you prefer.

          My money is on the latter.

          On the other hand, if I come upon you and you have a .45 inch hole in the middle of your forehead and are still warm and there are no weeping relatives around AND I and my wife haven’t eaten in a week, would I give serious consideration to whether you should go in the stew pot or not? You betcha I would. I don’t know at this point what I would decide. But I wouldn’t immediately reject the idea out of hand. I have already resolved that I would not kill another human being for food, but under the circumstances I have outline, I would not assume that I would automatically reject the idea.

          Some readers may feel that they couldn’t countenance such a course of action. All I am saying is that you really don’t know how you would react until you are wearing the moccasins.

          But as for the can of Spam, I am sure I know what would happen no matter how die hard a vegan you are right now.

          Reply to this comment
        • red April 9, 12:00

          Hakin: You made a religious choice. that’s what it is, and I’m not arguing against your personal decisions. Many people cannot live on a vegetarian diet. It makes us sick. We die a lot younger. An enzyme only found in meat, carnosine, is the major boost for good health and energy.

          My great-grandfather ate a half-dozen eggs each morning fried in the grease of a lot of bacon he also ate. Lunch was meat. Supper meat. He died at age 97 still in relative good health. He chose to go. We live long, productive lives because meat is the meal. It’s proved a carnivorous diet is healing in many cases. I know. I did the research. I tried that vegan diet for 4 years and wound up in the hospital every year thanks to it. I know two Native American women who died because they were vegans. Yes, that was the cause. peace to you.

          Reply to this comment
        • Hard rock April 15, 14:48

          Well hakim old boy, I bet you are one of those that are for the NEW GREEN DEAL? And are pro abortion? Tell me if I’m wrong!!!!!

          Reply to this comment
          • red April 16, 17:43

            Hard: Got to disagree on this one. A lot of people are vegan because of religious reasons. Remember when Jesus told people to eat fish on Friday? It was because they were going vegan. Two major cities in Persia were Buddhist. Buddhism is based on Judaism and the Persian religions.Mind, I’m not defending vegan, but we all have our rights to open discussion. To us, PETA means people eating tasty animals 🙂

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        • kennyhemi March 4, 02:38

          You’re a nut job. In the bible our Lord tells us what to eat and not to eat. All kinds of meat are on the to eat list and several kinds are on the not to eat list. Basically the animals that are carnivorous and the ones that consume rotten or spoiled foods are on the not eat list. Animals were put here for many reasons, food being one of them. You can not get all the total nutrition you need from being a vegetarian, they have to eat certain supplements that they can only get from meat, so they do not have to eat the meat, which kills their theory right there that we are suppose to be vegetarians!

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          • red March 4, 18:59

            kenny: who are you nailing with reality? Name names!
            No, even taking supplements will not help a vegan. Vegetarians can slide by but they eat eggs and dairy. Low carb is normal and natural for humans. niio

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  16. Livin' in the Woods April 9, 05:02

    Nice attempt for a good article. However anyone that has actually processed any animal. Might agree that you can’t learn to butcher/process animals from an article. Perhaps an article on how to butcher a squirrel, rabbit, or maybe clean and fillet a fish. Just as an introduction to the the inside if animals. I have seen grown men hurl or get the dry heaves once they saw what the inside of a deer looked like before it became sausage, hot sticks, and lots of pretty packages wrapped up for them to put in their freezers.
    I would suggest. Anyone that needs practice processing meat. To start small. Next time you catch a mouse in a trap. Take your pocket knife out and skin it, quarter it, then imagine that’s a cow or deer.
    That’s the best way to learn if you can deal with it. There may be an app you can download.

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  17. AR 15 April 9, 23:24

    welp with all the f*ing cows around here we can probably survive on the stakes alone for a couple decades, well i’m exagerating but y’all should get the point, loads of cows here so thancks this will be helpful if shtf

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    • red April 10, 17:20

      AR: too many of ours here are Brahma crossbreds. Even the heifers will kill you. One grandfather raised jersey, and kids were not allowed in the pasture is a cow calved. Even a barnyard bossy (a pet cow) will turn and kill. You also have wild boar. Brown bears would give a grizzly pause.

      You know the funny thing is, there were cowboys in Europe before there were in the Americas. Preteens did most of the herding there and here in the old days. then, bulls were needed to be vicious because of predators. Same with range bulls, but Longhorns (retinita) are cool, usually. 🙂 niio

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  18. A R 15 April 9, 23:35

    also since i saw that this article was an idea of left coast, i’l give a few article ideas my self. 1, an article about prepping for the blind or about handicapped preps with a section about the blind. 2 an article about choosing an axe, i havvent seen one on here and axes are important for us people who have fire places or a wood stove. 3 an article about surviving in the winter, like in 2 meters of snow in northern alaska winter. i don’t think any one will see this but i thought i’d give ideas anyway.

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    • red April 10, 17:37

      Write to Claude. I’m trying to get Clergy Lady to write more articles on living off the land. If you can, research on making axes! Articles on farming and orchards is also always good. I’m looking forward to seeing what you write. niio

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  19. A R 15 April 10, 10:56

    hakim i think that killing for sport is bad but killing for food is justifiable we need meet to survive

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  20. A R 15 April 10, 21:04

    most of the cows around here are a breed called limousine look it up if u want to know more. we have huge wild boars around here we have a huge forest around here 300 acre plus filled with them. i know a guy who almost died cuz a boar charged and passed wright between his legs xd. the cows arn’t that aggressive although i’m apprehensive cuz i’m blind and if i go in field with a less docile one or a bull i wouldn’t know

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    • red April 11, 15:44

      Limousine are popular barnyard cattle. Anjou are bigger but aren’t liked. Range cattle are either Longhorns or Brahma crosses. Longhorns do best in Arizona, less feed and water, and thing grizzly bears are fuzzy toys, yet are docile for range cattle. On average, folks raising anything but Longhorns tend to lose 15% and more of their calves. Longhorn folks lose about 5%.You’re quick on the brain and that’s more than you can say for most. niio

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  21. A R 15 April 10, 21:23

    red how do i tell claude about my ideas.

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    • left coast chuck April 11, 00:25

      Claude reads all these posts so he will see your suggestions. Prepping for the blind. That’s a toughie. Prepping for an arctic winter would fill a book. An article on the different types of axes, axe heads and why there are various lengths of handle and the proper way to chop wood without getting a leg mixed in with the firewood would be interesting and informative for most of us who do not regularly cut firewood or fell trees. Felling big trees is a real skill and can be extremely dangerous if not done carefully.

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    • red April 11, 15:45

      this is the contact page.

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  22. A R 15 April 11, 18:13

    red i clicked on the page and sent him a message idk if he will see it

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  23. A R 15 April 11, 18:26

    Red here they keep them in small fields with a barn at one end where they get some of ther food like silage and what ever crap they also give them now. the pastures arn’t very big only like 2 or 3 acres on average. we don’t need long hornes here because the biggest predators are foxes and sometimes a hunting dog who escaped.

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    • red April 12, 13:15

      AR: No wolves? I thought the wolf was back in the Alps? Ours tend to avoid cattle for health reasons. AKA Lead poisoning injected by rifles. coyotes are worse than cats for killing for fun. Wolves usually don’t. The ancestors always tried to have a wolf den nearby to eradicate evil.In lean times, they would share kills with them, then, later, take an older cow or horse near where the wolves would hang out and kill it for them. We very rarely lost livestock. But, European wolves are said to be different from American. Yet, still, King David had nothing but good things to say of wolves. niio

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  24. A R 15 April 12, 18:52

    Red we don’t live in the alps. There are wolfs there though. we are in western france i’m not comfortable saying exactly wher but if u look on a map of france there is a mountain range in the middle of the country wel i’m about half way between the mountains and the coast. anyway it’s mostly pastures mixed in with low land forests and in some parts small hills and stuff not a good habitat for wolfs here it barely snows.

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    • red April 13, 15:41

      Ah, but they have wolves in Mexico, down in the lowland tropics. A few trees and good hunting grounds are all they need. Most of the time, when one is killed, all they find are mice and other rodents. When you said west, I did assume at least the foothills. Mountains are always my first instinct 🙂 Next, trees! niio

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  25. RK April 13, 14:16

    I have a question I have always wanted to ask a vegetarian: Just how do you work it out in your head that it is ok to kill plants? They are alive, living & breathing.
    I don’t put down non meat eaters just don’t understand the rationalization of how it’s ok to kill one thing & not the other. BTW I am fascinated by plants but I eat them too.

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  26. A R 15 April 13, 21:12

    red yeah it’s the foot hills i’m happy there arn’t anny wolves though

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    • red April 16, 14:09

      AR: Wily Coyote is based on Old-Man Coyote, a demonic demigod of Shibalba, Hell. Not a roadrunner, but you. You have to outsmart the Trickster. He’s lazy and wants you to be. Greedy and wants you to be. He whispers in your ear, you can’t. Don’t bother trying. He trips you up and laughs while you’re crying from frustration. He’s death and the mocker. When I came back from Pennsylvania, I went out to enjoy the dawn. Three coyotes were singing outside the back gate in the alley. I told them to shut up. they ignored me. I shouted at them. they ignored me. then,”May Eagle eat your children!” They ran off and I said, “Huh. It really does work.” Eagle is God. God is called the death of Death.

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  27. red April 14, 19:47

    AR: poppy told me there are wolves up her way, in Arizona. Arizona fish and game said where they put them, east of here, in the national forest in New Mexico, they found 88 dead coyotes. Wolves aren’t known here to go after people and not much for livestock, but coyotes will hunt for fun. The roadrunner and coyote cartoons are based on old Native American stories, with roadrunner being a small child or disabled adult. A real roadrunner would kill the coyote. niio

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  28. A R 15 April 14, 23:42

    wyly coyote

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  29. A R 15 April 14, 23:46

    foxes ate the chickens we had and a hunting dog that escaped mauled one and it died inn horrible pain so i hate hunting dogs or rather the dumb ass owner who let it escape. it’s the dogs instinct to hunt but the owner should kno better don’t you think.

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    • red April 16, 14:18

      AR: Wolves eat foxes and stray dogs. And chickens, if they can get them. We had coyotes, and they hunt because they love to. Our poultry spent nights in pine trees, not a coop. Three feral dogs killed my sister’s geese, but the rooster bloodied them. then the chihuahua-dachshund mutt ripped hell out of them, too.
      My dachshund loves to hunt. He was a good rabbit dog when younger. If he harmed an animal without reason, he was punished. For some reason, dogs, even those that love to swim, freak out when squirted with water. You need a dog. Dog is Wolf in a different form, and Wolf kills spirit enemies like coyote. niio

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  30. A R 15 April 15, 22:51

    wily coyote

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  31. Ched April 19, 15:16

    Thank you for the demonstration on how to skin Hey call

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