woman hunter

Let’s play the gender stereotype game for a second. When you hear the word hunting, do you think of men or women?

Visions of being out in the unknown, stealthily stalking down your prey, and killing it for sustenance typically conjure up visions of plaid-clad men, but if you think hunting is a male-only activity, think again.

The number of women out hunting for their own food has risen by 25 percent since 2006. According to Jezebel hunting is the “Hot new craze among cool, with-it ladies.” That’s based off of an article in National Geographic that looks at the changing hunting demographic, explaining that women are look at hunting in a new way, seeing it as a a way to connect with the food chain and eat food that is more natural. 

Since women have led the charge for CSAs, farmers’ markets, and the local food movement, it’s no surprise that they want to ensure that their meat is as local, free-range and organic as it can be. Easiest way to do that? Kill it yourself.

“Hunting may be the next frontier for local food,” says Lily Raff McCaulou in the article, author of Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner.

While some people will argue about the simple ethics of killing an animal in general, but for meat eaters living in a time of factory farming, hunting for dinner allows one to avoid the negative impacts of large-scale factory farms. For McCaulou, there’s no question that an animal that you kill yourself is a more ethical food than the steak you buy at the supermarket. As she told CNN’s Eatocracy, “My venison was never confined, castrated, or branded the way most farmed steers are. My duck was never caged, de-beaked, or toe-clipped the way most domesticated poultry is. Wild animals, unlike many domesticated ones, aren’t bred, fed and medicated to achieve rapid weight gain so that they can be killed at just a few weeks of age.”

Hunting is also a way for women to be better connected to their food. Meat packaged in styrofoam and saran wrap is quite different from the deer you killed with your own bare hands. 

“Hunting made me realize that there’s a lot that has to happen before that piece of meat gets to your plate. As a chef, I wanted to participate in that process because it makes the experience more meaningful. You think about the ingredients differently, you think about the experience of eating it differently, and you have more control over how the animal was treated,” Georgia Pellegrini author of the book Girl Hunter told National Geographic

As a conscious consumer, does the idea of hunting your own food speak to you as an ethical way to eat?

Related on Organic Authority:

Hipster Hunting for Sustainable Meat

Foraging Frenzy: Is Eating Wild Food Safe?

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to Only Eat Meat He Kills Himself

Image: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources