At a Glance
Title: Butchering Beef: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering and Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering
Author: Adam Danforth
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Release Date: 2014
Cover Price: $24.95 each
Target Audience: Farmers who want to take their farm-raised food to the next level; livestock owners who want to be as self-sufficient as possible
Farm life consists of a variety of challenging situations, especially if youâ€™re raising livestock for meat. It can be exceedingly difficult to raise an animal from a baby in an emotionally detached way, knowing that it will eventually serve as food for your family or your farmersâ€™ market customers.
Adam Danforth, author of Butchering Beef and Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork, understands that, which is why his all-inclusive manuals on harvesting, eviscerating and breaking down livestock carcasses for meat are built on honorable and humane endings.
“When Iâ€™m harvesting an animal, I feel right knowing that I have done everything I can to ensure a natural (albeit domesticated) existence and painless departure for every animal I process,â€ť Danforth writes in the booksâ€™ introductions. “Everything you need to know in order to successfullyâ€”and respectfullyâ€”slaughter the most common species found on a farm is contained in these pages.â€ť
Heâ€™s not kidding, either: Danforthâ€™s inherent reverence for animals is apparent on every page, pervading every decision he discusses. He breaks down both the process and the animalsâ€”literally and figurativelyâ€”into easily digestible portions, and even if youâ€™ve never butchered an animal before, these manuals equip you with the tools youâ€™ll need to carry out the job successfully.
The books are chock-full of invaluable step-by-step photographs that document every single step of the process, without needless and senseless gratuity. For instance, the longest chapter of the beef volume, “Beef Butchering,â€ť dedicates 175 pages to the various cuts of meat possible from a cattle carcass, with step-by-step photos and instructions for each cut.
The books donâ€™t glorify the butchering process or the human consumption of meat; rather, they demystify them in a profound way, showing interested farmers that with the purchase of some equipment and the proper space allotment, home butchering is a feasible agricultural aspect to add to a hobby farm. Itâ€™s the final step in taking control of your food supply.
Danforth understands the gravity of what heâ€™s doing, and with introductions by Temple Grandin and Joel Salatin, heâ€™s clearly not alone. The subject may be a somewhat sensitive one, but in his expert hands, itâ€™s treated with the respect it deserves. If nothing else, flipping through these guides will cause you to consider the next bite of meat you consume, and that is a victory in itself.
The Final Word: If youâ€™re interested in self-sustainability and raising livestock for meat consumption, this book is the next step in your process. Itâ€™s informative, itâ€™s comprehensive, and above all else, itâ€™s reverent and respectful of the animals giving their lives so we can live ours.
If you want more info on butchering and meat cuts, check out these articles:
- 3 Carcass Cut Sheets to Simplify Butchering
- Infographic: Butcher’s Guide to Meat Cuts
- How to Process Livestock
- How to Start a Premium Beef Business
- Infographic: The Meat Makers
- Video: How to Butcher a Chicken