By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
While I consider myself to be more of libertarian and believe individuals should be able to spend their money as they please, no matter how foolishly, there are times where conspicuous consumption is so insulting and demeaning to those who have little it can only be described as a bit immoral.
I read a review by Robert Frank of CNBC of a restaurant that serves a Five Thousand Dollar Hamburger created by Chef Hubert Keller’s “Fleur” restaurant at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The articles author claims the burger was “absolutely worth it.”
Obviously, I don’t doubt the quality or the hype–reportedly twenty-eight of these burgers have been reportedly sold so far–congratulations to them for being such a good business model and their windfall but what is the social cost to this level of arrogant consumption given that ordinary people must work to pay for basics.
The ingredients of this oxymoronic ‘exquisite hamburger’ include the following:
- Wagyu beef ($100 a pound)
- Prime foie gras ($45 a pound)
- Sliced black truffles ($1,500 a pound)
- 1995 Petrus ($5,000 per bottle)
The bottle is an accompaniment to, as Jules from the film “Pulp Fiction” says, as “your tasty beverage to wash it down.”
The experience of the Fleur Burger 5000 is described by Mr. Frank as:
With wine in hand, I lifted the earthy, oozing Fleur burger to my mouth and took my first bite. And for the first time ever on “Secret Lives of the Super Rich,” I was completely at a loss for words. My exact quote, on camera, was, “Oh! Wow. Oh. My. God.”
And there it is. A five thousand dollar experience digested to one paragraph.
The penultimate line in the article, “Would I pay $5,000 for a Fleur burger? Absolutely — if I were a billionaire.”
For curiosity purposes I sorted a spreadsheet of mine to determine the cost of our food consumption over the course of a year. The food expense for my household, comprising three adults, was $7,295.94 or $2,431.98 per person. For the cost of this one meal in question, my wife and I could have eaten for a year. Once a month, my church serves dinner for the needy. We provide dinner for around one hundred fifty persons for less than two dollars each. (food is donated)
That is the problem my friends. Even if one was fortunate enough to acquire a billion dollars in net worth you have to ask yourself if it is a higher calling to subsist on four figure dinners or to consume food of a higher standard, yet forgo the arrogance and accept that you are rare in situation. But for those that choose otherwise, spare us the tokenism and hypocrisy of self-promoting a regal lifestyle but professing the façade of “caring for the little people” by tweeting how you are a champion for social justice.
Again I say that a person should be free live a lifestyle of their choosing, but have at least a modicum of understanding of others.
Still, if a fleur type burger is something you must have. I might suggest Buddy LaFleur’s restaurant in Wenatchee, Washington. A Buddy Burger with a Lime Rickey is my recommendation–if you want a tasty burger for five hundred times less.
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.
90 thoughts on “$5,000 Hamburger: One Claims It Was ‘Absolutely Worth It’. No, It Was Not.”
Steve57, February 28, 2017 at 11:33 am
“I am glad if you were entertained. That wasn’t the point. The point was to kill an elephant which was a matter of life and death to the people involved. But maybe I eked out a story.
“I am, at most, the mouse.”
I found your account of shooting the elephant entertaining in a serious, educational way, and related the joke about the elephant and the mouse only because I still find the latter quirkily funny after many years and many sharings of it.
Your very well written account of your having to take down an elephant to protect those villagers also reminds me of George Orwell’s “Shooting An Elephant.”
In addition to its similarities to your experience, Orwell’s essay also has several observations regarding British imperialism which, of course, also apply to contemporary US imperialism.
If you haven’t read it or if it’s been a while since you did, it’s certainly worth revisiting:
I am glad if you were entertained. That wasn’t the point. The point was to kill an elephant which was a matter of life and death to the people involved. But maybe I eked out a story.
I am, at most, the mouse.
” The point was to kill an elephant which was a matter of life and death to the people involved.”
So, how much is an elephant meat hamburger going for these days, anyway? And is it absolutely worth it?
@Steve57, February 26, 2017 at 2:41 pm
Speaking of elephants, I heard (and this may be apocryphal) about this rogue bull elephant who was on a rampage so violent that even the other elephants were running for cover. In the midst of his immense swath of destruction, he cornered this little field mouse in a clearing.
Breathing heavily and staring down at him with blood-red eyes, he contemptuously snorted, “Why you pathetic little piece of insignificant protoplasm, just look at you! Why, I could easily crush into unrecognizable blood-spatter your puny little excuse for a body!
And the little mouse looked up at him and said plaintively, “Well, I’ve been sick.”
@Karen S, February 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm
My two main (not ptomain) uses for tomatoes, other than organic whole tomatoes, are on pasta and in chili.
For the latter two, I use organic tomato sauce packaged in glass, e.g., Bertolli’s Organic Tomato Sauce with Olive Oil, Basil, and Garlic.
All organic ingredients, wonderful tomato flavor, beaucoup lycopene, and no BPA.
The photo of the hamburger is as ugly as the photos of Hillary.
@issacbasonkavich, February 25, 2017 at 9:03 pm
“I, too, buy wild caught, freeze and include in meals of fresh vegetables. Haven’t opened a can of anything except tomato sauce in a long time. Food gets cycled down from the first roasting, to the goulash, to the soup.”
Here’s one of many such warnings I’ve read and is something you may want to consider:
“Why Are Canned TOMATOES so bad?
“It’s true that most cans have BPA linings, unless it is labelled otherwise, so why am I singling out canned tomatoes?
“I’m focusing on canned tomatoes because since tomatoes are highly acidic, it draws out more of the BPA into the food from the lining. So, canned tomatoes have an especially high risk of leaching BPA into the tomatoes because of the acidity. This is not to say that other canned goods do not also pose BPA exposure risks (they most certainly do), but tomatoes are one of the worst offenders.”
Tomatoes always get the short end of the fork. They leached lead out from pewter, which made Europeans believe they were poisonous for hundreds of years.
Darn it. I used canned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, and tomato paste too.
For the most part there are the two of us and our son when he cruises by, drops anchor, does laundry, and feeds. So, the canned tomato sauce with the fresh veggies, meats, etc. then frozen for later use is a go to situation. Nobody’s perfect. Our meat consists of lamb chops, chicken, and fish. The lamb chops come from Australia and are a treat. The chicken is organic free range and cycles down for the better part of a week, with wild caught shrimp and several types of wild caught fish. What is important to note is that ample protein and other nutrients don’t amount to much. The problem with obesity in the US is that quantity has replaced quality for the ‘comfort’ factor. People simply eat too much. Some ‘hamburger meals’ make up almost all the calories for the day, but you feel drugged. If you slowly eat less and better, your appetite shrinks, you lose weight, get lighter, and live better. One can manage less food when taken in in smaller amounts more often. Feed the body every three hours or so with less and overall it is less of a job for the body to process and the fueling is more balanced. It is important to keep the protein levels up for activity and listen to the body. We bake our own bread-whole wheat with honey and butter. Going to all that trouble and understanding that each slice is about 200 calories keeps it down to one, maybe two slices a day. Substituting zucchini for pasta lets you go a little wild on the sauce. The one thing to remember is that it is all in the details. Every two to three hundred calories reduced is where it is at.
I, too, buy wild caught, freeze and include in meals of fresh vegetables. Haven’t opened a can of anything except tomato sauce in a long time. Food gets cycled down from the first roasting, to the goulash, to the soup.
It might sound quaint to some of the sophisticates here, but Billy Graham is right: “What we need is revival”.
Imo, more people had high grade morals when U.S. society was less affluent and were guided more by the
Now, back to your regularly scheduled “he said, she said” Dish House Dish.
I agree. I was over at a Mennonite’s place today. We as a society can learn much from caring about ordinary things and not being so pretentious.
Do they still have Amish orchards up there?
Somehow, at $5,000 a burger, I dfon’t think that J. Wellington Wimpy’s usual offer will be accepted:
And yet, that digested burger will soon be mingled with the sewage from the common folks’ fast food and cheap, swilled beer.
I think James Howard Kunstler is spot-on re Vegas, though it’s a bit dated since so many new casinos have emerged…
Las Vegas: Utopia of Clowns
I lived in Vegas for a year and a half – my sis and bro still live out there – it was an interesting time from a sociological POV, but not my scene. My sis worked for one of the presidents at the Venetian so I learned a lot about the super rich and since she was “connected” dined at some of the best restaurants (no thousand dollar entrees though!). And I worked briefly for a VP at Caesar’s. The casinos provide a good wage for many in the Food and Bev industry, but the divide between the uber rich and the poor is incredible.
My church close to the Strip handed out food and bus tickets M-F and the lines of people seemed to never decrease. There are so many desperate people – addicted to gambling, alcohol, drugs, mentally ill, etc. and theft is rampant. It is not unusual to go to a Walgreens and see people at 9:30 AM standing in line with a giant jug of cheap vodka or other rot gut liquor.
In my family alone this was our experience: my sister’s car was broken into at the Venetian and her baby stroller and car seat was taken, my car was stolen in front of my brother’s house, my sister’s car was broken into at her upscale apt complex and her clothes which she was taking in for dry cleaning were stolen (executive assistants have to invest heavily in nice wardrobes), my brother’s car was stolen a few years later, my sister’s cat was stolen, my bro in law’s son’s car was stolen.
On a positive note I met many interesting people from all over the world, there is some great art – particularly interior design, excellent shows, the vast array of affordable (many ethnic) restaurants is amazing and oddly enough it has one of the best library systems I’ve ever experienced.
Love to visit but glad I don’t have to live out there.
I lived in Vegan for awhile and never ate a hamburger.
Autumn – I’ve been to Vegas many times and never knew about their libraries. That’s good to know. I always make a point to go play with the baby ferrets in pet stores when I’m in NV, which are illegal in CA. They’re so cute and bendy.
Here come the Canadians.
I have no idea what you meant by “cute and bendy.”
likewise I have no idea what anyone can mean by Canadian.
So it seemed to be an appropriate response.
Apparently they are a Northern people who live in a fringe area between “not even we want it” and “freezing your @$$ off in July.”
I’m just kidding. They live north of where “not even we want it” to where the mosquitoes will eat you to the bone in July.
Steve, you’re so funny. Ferrets are related to weasels. There’s a saying about ferrets that they’re boneless. Of course they have bones, but they are amazingly flexible and like to play like kittens. Very cute. They were banned in CA after someone left a ferret unattended around a newborn, which it attacked quite viciously. It wasn’t the ferret’s fault, any more than it’s the dog’s or the cat’s when they hurt a newborn when they are left alone. Pets need to be supervised around kids. That saying about cats stealing babies’ breath was supposedly based upon them liking to snuggle up to people who are sleeping. Only small babies cannot lift their heads or turn over, and the cat accidentally smothers them or overheats them.
So, one of my favorite things to do in Vegas is go play with the cute little baby ferrets in pet stores that I’m not allowed to buy. Well, because they’re illegal and they do still retain a bit of odor even after they’ve been de-scented.
I’m happy you find me funny. I’ll let you in on a secret. My main problem with Canadians is the same problem I have with diggers and kiwis. There just aren’t enough of them. God love them all.
Nobody does a haka like the All Blacks do a haka.
OK, first of all, I am dying to know how a pescetarian has sourced seafood as his main protein for $2,431.98 a year. Good seafood is atrociously expensive. Where is a good source for (parasite free, healthy) bulk seafood that you can freeze if you don’t live near the ports where the fishing boats come in?
I’ve drastically changed my diet a couple of years ago, but grass fed beef, fish, organic poultry, and organic produce can put you back significantly…especially if you live in a dry area where ravening hordes of rodents, bunnies, and birds devour your every effort to garden.
On another note, I firmly believe that everyone of means, and everyone in the middle class, should routinely volunteer their time. And at least once in their life, they should go on a significant effort to help the severely bad off – dig a well in Africa, for instance.
Perspective…we all need it, especially anyone who has the bad taste to spend $5,000 on a burger.
Karen you’re right – it is expensive to eat healthy – that’s why so many people eat fast food – cheaper than fruit and vegs much less grass fed beef, wild caught fish, etc. But it’s pay me now or pay me later in terms of disease.
Volunteering one’s time — especially at shelters/soup kitchens – is very humbling – no matter what we are dealing with there is someone who is way worse off and many seem to have no social connections – family or friends.
Many of the restaurants in Vegas encourage their workers to volunteer – foods that would otherwise be thrown away are delivered and served to the poor. Probably a tax write-off for the casinos, but at least they are doing something to alleviate hunger.
What’s really heartbreaking is all the families who live in motels – there are only microwaves so cooking is impossible and some kids have learned to pocket packages and make “ketchup soup”
No, it’s not more expensive to steam your own broccoli than to supersize your order of fries. It’s just easier to supersize.You could eat healthier for less. But a lot of people don’t want to do that.
When I was a lot younger and first starting out, I didn’t know how to cook, budget, plan a week’s menu, find the best deals on healthy food, know anything about farmer’s markets…If I wanted a good meal I visited my parents for dinner. I was also stupid about interest and debt, and there were these several years when a lot of my friends married and I traveled a lot. I got up to my eyeballs in debt with high interest. So I was not making any money at entry level, got into debt through my own fault, and this came after college erased my healthy eating habits growing up. The cafeteria would serve hamburger Monday, Hamburger tacos Tuesday, Hamburger taco spaghetti Wednesday. The big joke among us students was that the food was so bad that it built character and an iron stomach. At the dorm all we ate was bad cafeteria food or cheap packaged food we could nuke or just unwrap quickly. And after graduation I worked long hours, worked out 5 days a week, catch rode 5 days a week, and often wouldn’t even get home until 10:00 PM. So when I lived on my own, I unthinkingly lived on Mac N Cheese, Top Ramen, chips, soda, and other quick crappy processed high carbohydrate food. I had absolutely no idea, for years, that I could eat healthier on such a shoestring budget. I still look for ways to save, and I’ve got to avoid My Happy Place, Whole Foods, for the most part. I can’t get out of that store for less than $100 for like a single bag of groceries.
Now, I wasn’t in the very real privation or bad spot that, say, some of my ancestors went through, or the grim dire straights that some people in the US, or around the globe, face. I always had my parents I could have fallen back on if anything truly awful happened.
So, yes, it can be less expensive to steam your own broccoli, and it’s better for you. But sugar and salt and carbohydrates are deeply addicting to us, as a species who evolved when these were rare. And a lot of people just don’t know how to do it, or it seems to hard, or they’re working too much and have no time.
I would absolutely love the return of a home economics class in school. They could teach about budgets, interest, balancing a checkbook, how credit cards work, how to plan and budget for the week’s meal, how to cook a fresh, healthy meal on a tight budget, how to find deals on food, how to sew on a button and hem pants, and how to plant a garden. (And, since this is my fantasy, I’d want the emphasis on organics and carbohydrate light, instead of the typical American diet of all meat and carbs and very little veggies. But then again, organic can be a religion, and no proselytizing at school!) Yes, this can all be taught at home, but not everyone gets to that, and it would be a nice adult-prep class. I also wish we could add back art and music to school. Where has all the time in the school day gone?
The other problem is that corn is heavily subsidized and GMO, with the result that packaged food and anything sweetened with high fructose corn syrup is cheap, and it’s known to be cheap. So when someone is thinking they need some cheap food they can eat in 15 minutes, they don’t even consider carrots. They associate cheap with the packaged stuff. More farmers markets are now accepting EBT. I belong to a great farmers Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). I pay a small amount for the smallest box, and I can add on anything I want every week. They have a database of free menus, and learning how to make vegetable stock from the odds and ends was cathartic. I think it would be great if farmers markets and CSA offered a free class now and then on eating healthy on a budget. Great marketing for them.
Eating organic and healthy is growing and taking off from grass roots efforts (no heavy handed government force required!) So hopefully the heavy dependence on packaged foods will decrease. But it’s still considered expensive and often the poor think it’s beyond their reach and don’t bother.
I was young and dumb once, two. Some would say I still am.
It wasn’t until I joined the Navy that I was cut out of preparing my own food entirely.
And the thing is the gentlemen and ladies who did have the job of preparing food for me, I have nothing but respect.
I hear you. But I suppose we come from different places. I could make you a Zabaglione in my sleep by the time I was 13. Same thing for Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Saltimbocca alla Romana, now that still takes greater concentration on my part.
“Mangia, mangia” (eat, eat!) you ah too skinny. It was all my grandma could talk about. I grew up in the kitchen.
There are hints I planted here. My family is from Salerno.
What’s really heartbreaking is that we don’t treat raising children in motel rooms as the type of cruelty that it is, an prosecute the perpetrators.
“What’s really heartbreaking is that we don’t treat raising children in motel rooms as the type of cruelty that it is, an prosecute the perpetrators”
So you are advocating prosecuting politicians who set social policies that lead to lack of education, loss of jobs, lack of child care and other unmet needs that lead to children living in motel rooms?
Steve57 – well, you are lumping a lot of different people together with irresponsible people and self destructive addicts. And it is true that some people deliberately become parents who have absolutely no business doing so.
On the other hand, it’s amazing how quickly an idyllic life can do a 180. My sister’s best friend, an extremely kind woman, just lost her husband to cancer. They were in their 30s and have a 5 year old sweetheart of a daughter. Now she’s a widowed working mother without his income, devoted love, and support. She was incredibly lucky that his parents let her live in his grandmother’s house for free, and help out with babysitting. What the heck does everyone else do when child care costs at least $1,000 a month per kid?
what’s tragic it you post this – this is not the norm. There are plenty of hardworking families who don’t have bunches of kids to milk the system – they are simply are down on their luck, and their children suffer needlessly. Malnutrition and often slated for the worst schools. And if their parents are “nomadic” having to move around a lot the kids suffer even more. We should take care of our most vulnerable citiizens IMO
So how is what you are tying to say different from what I’m trying to say? Other than your assumptions about extremes and norms.Which is on you, not me.
“Many of the restaurants in Vegas encourage their workers to volunteer – foods that would otherwise be thrown away are delivered and served to the poor. ”
It’s illegal to do this. I don’t agree with the law, but every restaurant in America would donate its mandated garbage food to food banks if it were legal. But it’s not. We have to put it in the dumpster. It’s the law.
Restaurants can make food for donation. But not give away food that “would otherwise be thrown away.” Once the food hits the table it can not be recycled in this fashion. This has all sorts of implications. I can’t go through them in a single comment.
I should have clarified – this was food that never hit the table – it was close to expiration in storage. Obviously one cannot recycle bread baskets =)
It’s funny that you say this. I went to school with someone who was fired from her catering job because she delivered the leftover food to a homeless shelter. In sue happy California, that food kept warm for a few hours at an event and then transported could have caused food poisoning, and the company could have been sued. It was against company policy, but she just couldn’t bear to throw all the uneaten food away. They always made extra just in case. It wasn’t scrapings she donated but good, untouched food. Even so, the liability was too great, and she broke a policy she knew about, so she was gone.
And it’s true. They could have been sued. The financial consequences of a lawsuit, even if you win it but fail to recover attorney fees, are so great that most companies base their policies on lawsuit avoidance, not necessarily right and wrong. (That’s also why the mountains have signs of “no snow play”. They’ve been sued too many times. So it’s go on the paid sled ride or don’t touch a darn flake of snow.)
“OK, first of all, I am dying to know how a pescetarian has sourced seafood as his main protein for $2,431.98 a year. “
I have the fortune of living near areas where actual food can be found nearby. I buy the fish when the annual harvest season arrives and I buy a year’s supply from a supplier who buys directly from the fishing company. I only buy wild caught. I found that buying about a quarter or third of the way through the season is a sweet spot for the price. The most important aspect is that I buy eighty to a hundred pounds of the salmon, for example in one purchase. I buy it in filets because frankly I pay a little more than the whole salmon because of time savings and they can do it much better. I spend a day cutting into smaller sections, vacuum packing, and freezing. Last year the harvest was smaller so I paid about, if memory serves me correctly $7.90 per pound for that. If you buy seafood in bulk during harvest time and freeze it you can’t go wrong. If you wait and buy it later sporadically until the next harvest you will pay three times as much (to have the same frozen wild caught,or have to settle for farm raised crap (or should I say carp) Once in a while we will splurge and buy something different. We have Dungeness on occasion as it is harvested here. Some of the tribes offer it.
Also, for the vegetables we have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). In fact today I am writing out a check for $1,000 to buy two shares for this year’s harvest. (10% off for early purchases) During the season we get whatever is growing that week in two boxes. It is always a variety of several items. The season usually starts in May and lasts until mid October. It is 100% organic and is of better quality and cheaper than regular food found at grocery stores. The flavor is remarkable. I preserve/freeze what is not consumed in the week for the off-season. It is better to eat what is in season from a health perspective.
When fruit is in season in Eastern Washington I will stop by some of the orchardist’s fruit stands when I am over there on business and buy several large boxes of what has been picked. So we eat a lot of apples or cots (in both meals and alone) for a while, its better for you. Also the Mennonite grocer nearby will buy some and I’ll get it from them.
But what is equally as important is to not waste food. I read that according to a few studies around 25 to 30 percent of food harvested is wasted at some point along the supply chain and that households typically waste about 20 to 25 percent of their purchases. For me this is not acceptable. What is trimmed off can be used in soups or stocks or combined into other meals. And there are leftovers. For me it goes against Jesus’ teachings to waste food so I make a point of not doing this.
Most importantly do not eat processed or packaged ingredients found in the middle of stores. The claim is that they are cheaper than whole foods. To a degree this might be true when measuring per pound or calorie but know that it is often made of low quality, low nutritional value foods with fillers. I found that it is actually more expensive to eat this way than to make things from scratch here at home. When I do go to a grocery store it is usually to buy sundry items such as olive oil, or organic veggies when the CSA food becomes depleted from the freezer / jars. I see people loading shopping carts full of processed, packaged crap food and then pay for it with food stamps. it is truly a sad sight. But as long as there is lobbying of government officials to allow junk food to be bought instead of healthy food, and people being conditioned through advertising and convenience to buy corporate food, we will have to fend for ourselves if we want real food to eat.
“I have the fortune of living near areas where actual food can be found nearby. I buy the fish when the annual harvest season arrives and I buy a year’s supply from a supplier who buys directly from the fishing company. I only buy wild caught. ”
Would you say the same thing about venison? And if not, why not?
For those that eat venison a good hunt can go a long way.
One and done. I killed my elephant in 2009. The biggest of the Big Five. I did not for a trophy but because he was a problem animal. It was a PAC hunt. Problem Animal Control. He and two of his friends had set up shop. I don’t know how many of you have tried to live with elephants in your back yard but it can get pretty grim.
So I killed my elephant. And later I took a great deal of pride knowing it was MY ELEPHANT feeding all those people hundreds of miles away. Yes, my elephant. The villagers in Zimbabwe who lost the corn got everything. My elephant.
Just to clarify, or provide further information. I hunted my elephant under the conditions set by the local tribal community. It was part of Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE program. Communal Areas Management Program For Indigenous REsources. There is a great deal I think people who don’t hunt don’t understand about hunting in general, and African hunting in particular. Especially people who go on “safari,” i.e. car tours of national parks. First of all, the animals are used to cars, and view people in cars as just a part of the car. Get out of the car and you’re back on the menu, should you be dealing with lions.
That was at Hwange. You can not legally enter Mana Pools National Park in Zim for a walk in the park unless you hire an armed park ranger. These animals are dangerous, and not just the predators. Which brings us to point two.
The people you have to live with them have an entirely different attitude toward them, as would you if you had to live with a threat to their crops, their children, and to their own lives. Elephants, for instance, are notoriously bad tempered. Invade their personal space and they have the ability, and the will, to kill you in the most horrible ways you can imagine. Some will gore you, some will stomp on you.
Some, maybe my elephant, will wrap their trunks around your ankles and literally atomize you by pounding you into the terrain. I say maybe my elephant because that’s what happened to a guy in the territory I was hunting just a couple of weeks earlier. He was stumbling back from the shabeen, the local watering hole, to his village along a particular road. He bumped into a bull elephant coming the other way. The elephant quite literally beat the man to death. There was nothing left to bury but the guy’s bloody jeans. Unfortunately the rains had obliterated the exact identity of the elephant, and the locals are wizards at being able to tell the age, sex, and net worth of whatever they’re tracking. But enough sign was left so they knew the elephant didn’t even break stride.
Consequently, for a while, I was the most hated man in Zim. Because after a couple of fruitless days of revelling in camp and then traveling to the farms this trio of bulls was ravaging, I came up with a brilliant plan. Let’s just camp in the village’s fields and hit it hard in the morning. The villagers aren’t stupid; they know we’re there. We’re camping under one of the platforms they men will typically occupy to protect the crops from crop raiders. Which is a system that works well for critters that scale less then elephants.
So this night the elephants raid into the field. We can hear them.The villagers can hear them. They’re yelling at us, in Shona, “Shoot the damn elephants.” The elephants are destroying their corn, and corn is life. But it’s suicide to wade into the corn and try to kill an elephant on a dark moonless night. One of the major reasons why the government of Zimbabwe opened up (and later close, but that’s a discussion for a later date) PAC hunts to foreigners is because the tribal game scouts were inept. No slam on them; they were brave men. But ammunition in Zim is too expensive to use for training. So under peer pressure they’d go into the field at night, shoot in the general direction of the elephant (and there are lots of places where you can put your bullet in an elephant that will do no more than piss him off) drop their rifles and run. And I would have done the same damn thing.
But I was a white American paying for the privilege so I ignored the calls and insults and waited til morning. When after hating me all night the farmers were remarkably helpful. Not like three elephants are hard to track through cornfields. I can do it. People who have never left the confines of NYC can do it. It’s f***ing impressive, the destruction. So we’re walking along this tale of woe when we hear an elephant tear a limb off a tree. For food. Elephants tend to silent when they’re raiding into human cultivation, and they’re smart and they know, but while they quit with all the toots of the horn and the rumbles they still have to meet the demands of their stomach. So the sound of the elephant is most often that of a chevy pickup falling off a car carrier trailer and crashing though ornamental shrubbery.
So we walk these elephants up. Understand that the safest shot is the heart shot, but this elephant is facing me.The biggest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, with it’s ears outspread looking like a sailing era Windjammer and staring at me like he just caught me in bed with his wife. He was, angry. And heart shot elephants tend to tear in whatever direction they’re pointed, and this one was pointed at me. So I execute a frontal brain shot. He sits down. He throws his trunk over his head. He does all the classical things that indicate a successful brain shot. My PH is shaking my hand. Then he gets back up.
Now, Houston, we have a problem. Seven tons of problem.
I go for the side brain shot, and my PH since he’s not pointing at us but will go roughly off to the right if fatally hit goes for the heart shot. I believe it was my shot to the brain that sealed the deal, as we didn’t need to track him. He was dead right there.Li
So what is the point of all this? Life feeds upon life. I’ve never been uncomfortable about this. And since I can hunt, I will hunt. I’ve fed thousands of my fellow human beings. Not just my brothers and sisters in humanity in Zimbabwe, but from food banks from Maryland (ducks) to Alaska (caribou). When I hunt I don’t deal in death. I give life.
The villagers got their corn back. One way or another.
Thanks, Darren. I’m going to look for a fish supplier I can trek to. When does the season start for wild caught salmon (which is my absolute favorite fish. My son calls it “grizzly bear food.”) I’m currently battling against food waste. I’m improving, but still have a way to go.
Do you have a chest freezer or upright? I have a small chest freezer but it’s a bit of a struggle to get to things, even using bags with handles to organize.
“But as long as there is lobbying of government officials to allow junk food to be bought instead of healthy food, and people being conditioned through advertising and convenience to buy corporate food, we will have to fend for ourselves if we want real food to eat.” That’s the problem, right there. Processed food is what we’ve been trained to choose.
You are so very lucky to live in Washington. I traveled a bit in that state, and found it an Eden. I miss the green living in such a dry part of a dry state. Organic gardening is one of my favorite things, and my area is completely unsuited for growing anything other than garlic, pomegranates, rosemary, and lavender. Maybe a few other really tough specimens. But lush lettuce and greens…forget it. It’s crack to the ravening hordes of rodents that descend from the nearby open space. Plus they can’t take the drought and the heat.
As general rule chest freezers ar. e more efficient than upright freezers. Cold air sinks. Hope this helps.
@J Pismo Clam, February 25, 2017 at 11:01 am
Well, I’m sorry, J Pismo, but I’m with Dirty Harry on this one.
But of course your, put down the ketchup you might find more pleasure with your wife and/or girlfriend or both unless of course their libs. Lib woman have a tendency of hitting all the limbs of the ugly tree.
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