Make sure you are eating venison this Christmas
- Monday, 27 November 2023
As far as the environment and your health are concerned, eating venison this Christmas is a complete 'no brainer'.
I don’t want to sound too ‘Bah humbug’, but here in the UK, what on earth are we doing?
In the UK a whopping 10 million Turkeys will be consumed this Christmas, with an average turkey Christmas dinner having a carbon footprint of 20kg of CO2.
Beef and Lamb are even worse, one kilogram of beef or lamb protein can generate around 650 kilograms to 750 kilograms of carbon dioxide. To put that into perspective, that is more greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger flying from New York to London.
There is no doubt, that over the last 10 years or so, there has been a fundamental shift in the type of enquiry that we get from beginners here at County Deer Stalking. Enquiries increasingly come from beginners, who have become alarmed at the environmental cost of animal agriculture and wish to locally source their own meat.
It has been a shift that I welcome, sourcing wild meat is what deer stalking is all about and by sourcing our own locally shot venison, we can dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.
Because of the highly intensive resource requirements of animal agriculture and intensive farming, analysis has indicated that the carbon footprint of wild venison is around 40% lower than beef and 50% lower than lamb, and these are figures for bought Scottish venison! Source it yourself locally, and the footprint is even less.
What’s more, venison it is leaner and lower in cholesterol than any other red meat and for the sake of the environment, deer need to be shot. In Europe, they have ‘twigged’. On the continent, the traditional Christmas meat is ‘game’, and the market for venison and boar dwarfs that of the UK.
Things need to change in the UK, and at Christmas, we have the perfect opportunity to educate and inform those around us. Eating venison this Christmas, is, as they say, a complete ‘no brainer’.
If you’d like to learn how to harvest, gralloch, inspect, skin, butcher and cook a deer, the best place to learn how, is via a series of Courses & Masterclasses available through the ‘UK Shooting & Hunting Academy’.
Via this easy access online platform, you can learn how to hunt via the PDS1 Certificate, inspect the shot deer via our online Large Game meat Hygiene Course, Gralloch, Skin & Butcher it by watching Ben Heath’s Masterclass, and then rediscover the taste of venison by taking Michelin Star Chef Asimakis Chaniotis Masterclass on venison cookery!
One group of people, getting involved with this, and with whom I am very proud to be associated with, is the Capreolus Club. We are a club dedicated to the environment and to the sustainable harvesting of wild sustainable venison, and on the 14th December, we’ll be having our Christmas event in Pall Mall.
As a reader of the County Deer Stalking Almanac, we’d like to invite you to come along and meet some of our members.
In the meantime, take a look at what is in season this December:
IN Season in England & Wales: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe & Fallow Buck, Sika Stag & Sika Hind, Red Stag & Red Hind, CWD Buck & CWD Doe, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Doe.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roebuck.
In Season in Scotland: Red Stag, Sika Stag, Roebuck, Fallow Buck, Fallow Doe, Roe Doe, Sika Hind, Red Hind.
Off Season in Scotland: None.
(Peter S Jones - editor)