Lives: Earning Her Food, by Betty Fussell...Granny gets her gun and goes hunting for the first time.
Simply put, this moving piece is about this 82 year-old woman hunting and killing a white-tailed deer. After days of fruitless stalking, hungry, wet, tired and cold she shoots this animal with "A double-lung shot". Sam, her son hollers "She didn't know what hit her."
Mother and son then proceed to dress the animal in the field, "the first rule in hunting" so the birds and animals "whose territory we've invaded" can eat what they don't take.
They then take the animal to a processing company for it to be turned into steaks, sausage and jerky with the hide going to a tanner to become a blanket for Fussell's bed.
For me the most touching part is the conclusion, where she and her son sit down to dinner to eat the animal's heart: "...Most recipes say to slice and fry with garlic and onion and add barbecue sauce. I just use salt and pepper in order to taste the grilled flesh pure. Men use fire; other animals don't. But I have never felt the bonds of creaturehood so intensely. I repeat the blessing my grandfather said before each meal, 'Bless this food to our use and us to thy service. With gratitude, we eat."
Would that we should all respect our food this sincerely.