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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 11/ 9/2010

Are hunters locavores?

By Jennifer LaRue Huget

When people use the term "locavore," they tend to focus on locally grown fruits and vegetables sold at farmers' markets or harvested at CSAs, breads made by nearby bakers, goat cheese from the farm down the road. Once in a while a locally raised and butchered pig makes its way into the conversation. But locavorism seems to place little emphasis on meat.

But as I note in this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, some folks who hunt deer and other wild animals and eat what they catch are labeling themselves the ultimate locavores. As Jackson Landers, a Keswick, Va.-based hunter and hunting instructor, says, the meat he harvests "is local food. A deer you shoot in your back yard -- that's zero food miles."

A pair of antlerless white-tail deer peer through the brush in a woods in Jackson township, near Harmony, Pa., Friday, Oct. 28, 2005. The Pennsylvania deer hunting season starts in November. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Landers, raised in a vegetarian household, has used hunting as a way to enjoy meat without resorting to "factory-farmed" pork and other commercial products. He says hunting started to seem acceptable to "well-educated, literate, middle-class people" a few years back. "The big moment when it started to change," he says, "was when Michael Pollan wrote about hunting a wild boar" in his 2006 book "The Omnivore's Dilemma," in which Pollan famously stalked, and eventually ate, a boar.

There will always be those who object to hunting on moral grounds (though others argue that overpopulated colonies of deer pose sufficient risk to humans that it's wrong NOT to cull them through controlled hunting) or out of plain squeamishness. But to my mind hunters fit into the locavore scheme as neatly as anybody growing organic tomatoes on the back porch.

(In related news, a recent 10-year survey of hunting-related injuries in Ohio found that half of them occurred when hunters fell, usually out of tree stands. Gunshot wounds accounted for close to 30 percent of injuries, while alcohol contributed to only about 2 percent of injuries.)

What do you think? Are hunters legitimate members of the locavore community, or does the fact that they use guns to kill living creatures place them out of sync with that community's values?

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | November 9, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Nutrition and Fitness  
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of course they are . . ..

Posted by: k_romulus | November 9, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely. I don't understand what argument there would be for being "out of sync with that community's values?"

Posted by: MzFitz | November 9, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Also, a growing hunting segment is the bowhunting community, which is the only form of hunting allowed in many suburban areas. So the use of bows would negate any handwringing or bed-wetting over eebul gunz.

Posted by: k_romulus | November 10, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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