“Someday the power will die

the lights will fade...

the stars will shine...


I recently sat down to a dinner of roadkill venison. As an ex-vegetarian who occasionally eats fish or poultry, I did not approach this culinary choice lightly. However, I love an adventure, and I savored each succulent morsel as it emanated wood-smoke and blood.

I could not say I’d participated in the rural ritual of hunting, so popular among my neighbors. Nor could I say I’d succumbed to the consumerism of processed meat that detaches the delicacy from its ritualized death. In all my barely rationalized attachment to eating fish and sometimes poultry, rarely had I come so close to the moment when the animal-spirit met its maker, so to speak.

No, this was not some treat I found frozen and packed in shrinkwrap and polystyrene. I saw the recently murdered mammal arrive on my property in the back of a pick-up truck only hours before I ate it From a distance, I watched my comrade carefully clean and butcher it Finally, I helped build the fire for our makeshift grill where my guest roasted the flesh.

In the years since I gave up being a strict vegetarian, I’ve never gotten this close to really eating red meat. My first flirtation with returning to a fully omnivorous lifestyle included a much-too-large helping of goat on the 4th of July in the mid-1990s. My stomach was just not prepared for such a portion. I got soooo sick. But in the winter of 2002, on the warmest day of the coldest winter I can remember in recent years, a modest portion of fresh flesh really hit the spot