Excerpt from page 85.
When I was a boy everyone did their own butchering either alone as a family or with a group of neighbors. I learned from hands-on experience as my father and mother had learned from their parents. Today everyone is a specialist butchering is done off the farm and meat comes into the home wrapped in plastic and ready for the oven. The majority of a whole generation has never learned to butcher. Also today however many want to return to the subsistence farms some even feeling that if we are to survive we must learn to supply more of our food ourselves.
As an Army veterinarian in World War II I was taught meat inspection and butchering techniques so I might teach people in occupied lands (the Pacific islands -- Saipan in particular -- in my case) to butcher hogs and cattle. More recently my butchering has been confined to a deer or two every year and an occasional duck or wild turkey. I have friends who butcher regularly however one a professional who cuts up meat for neighbors as well as in a local market and others who butcher and process their own home-raised pork. They have been a tremendous help as technical advisers on this book.
You may want to be entirely self-sufficient on a small farm or to avoid the high costs of the meat market or to enjoy the better flavor of home-raised meat--or maybe you just want to butcher an occasional animal because you like being independent and doing things for yourself. In any case this book is written to help you.
If you have enough do-it-yourself determination and a sufficiently mechanical mind to take things apart (in butchering you only take apart you don't have to put back together) you can learn to butcher. Sure you'll make mistakes but they won't be life-threatening and after a few trial-and-error experiences you'll develop techniques of your own that will make you skilled in your own style. I will tell you one way to do things but to paraphrase an old axiom there is more than one way to cut up a hog. Copyright Storey Books