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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review (Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game)

Basic Butchering of livestock and game by John Mettler Jr. DVM (Veterinarian) is one of those essential books if you want to do any kind of butchering by yourself. While some are uncomfortable with butchering, if you are going to eat meat it behooves you to know how to safely and humanely butcher animals. Butchering is truly one of the lost arts, as there is rarely a neighborhood butcher anymore, and you either buy meat from the supermarket where it has had who knows what done to it, or you look to learn to butcher yourself.

Dr. Mettler takes a beginner oriented approach to writing this book. He begins with a chapter on tools,a nd includes illustrations of the various tools that you would need to begine butchering your own animals. Some of thses tools are for large animals (like a powered saw) but for the most part they are the basic tools that anyone doing any butchering would need. He divides the book into chapters based on what kind of animal is being butchered, and advises on where to place the stunning shot, how to skin the animal, and how to divide it up for storage.

Dr. Mettler gives advice on how to butcher beef, veal, lamb, pork, rabbit, poultry, venison and even has a chapter on less usual meats like goats. He gives information on meat inspections, on preserving by smoking (including how to build a smokehouse) and also includes recipes for both meat and sausage.

The best thing about the book is the illustrations. While some are quite graphic, all of them are informative and explain in a simple picture what would take hundreds or thousands of words to explain. If you are looking at butchering your own meat, or simply would like to know how the butcher shop does it, this is the book to get.

You can purchase it here or at your local bookstore.

Live a hands on life

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