Alright folks, perhaps the post seems odd, but my intention is to have a deeper and healthier relationship to the food that I eat. That means gardening of course, also canning and pickling and drying foods and the like. But as a meat-eater, I've been finding it almost impossible to take part in the process unless I want to hunt and fish.
So here is what I'm looking for, if anyone has any leads or thoughts please chime in! (I do not have the space or facilities at my home to do any of this stuff myself)
I want to buy a live hog or steer.
I want to slaughter it myself.
I want to butcher it myself.
The goal is to have a freezer full of steaks, chops, sausage, roasts, etc., and to have personally contributed to them being there. (The ultimate goal, btw, is to only eat meat that I put the effort into killing and dressing. Perhaps that will force me to be a vegetarian...)
I'm thinking the ideal situation would be a farm/ranch outside of LA, where I can pay the owner to "board" my animal until it's ready. They would let me do the butchering there, and then I could pack everything home in a couple coolers of dry ice. Bonus points if they help me with/teach me the butchering process, though I've found some people in LA that could teach me that if need be...
Or perhaps there is a farm that supplies one of the local specialty butchers and I could just go there and pick one out and slaughter it, and then ship it to that butcher for dressing.
If anyone has any ideas as to how I could basically have the farm experience that my grandfather grew up with (which I judge to be a much healthier relationship to my food) please throw them out there. Or if this is something that appeals to you, perhaps we can pool resources and a couple of us could split one hog, or make it worth the rancher's/butcher's time by having multiple orders...
Thanks for your thoughts...