My job is to sell meat. And not just any meat but meat from animals that are locally raised, humanely treated and able to roam freely over acres of land. These animals are cared for by people who actually do care for them, which I was able to see first-hand on a recent trip to our elk farm.
A few lucky co-workers and I got to travel with our boss on a tour with a team of employees from the well-known, acclaimed restaurant the Herbfarm. We watched as the yearlings were fed and then saw the rest of the herd. The bulls were in full rut and we could hear them buggling from across the field. Only one still sported his antlers (George, pictured above) as the farmers usually remove them after velvet so the bulls don’t hurt each other as they vie for the attention of the females.
We saw a room in the barn covered in antlers, each one tagged so the farmers know which animal and what year they are from. It made for a pretty impressive display.
After a full tour and a trip to the petting zoo (have you ever seen a cavy? they are pretty awesome-looking animals), we finally sat down to a meal of…well, elk burgers. It might seem weird, but at the end of the day, that’s the point, right — sourcing great meat from happy animals. And we ate them as respectfully as possible, cooked mid-rare and served on a toasted bun with freshly made aioli, pickled onions and peppers, juicy tomatoes and arugula.