Monday, March 21, 2016

Let's Address The Elephant In The Room

As many of you may know- Josh and I are headed to New Zealand in a few days and then we will be in South Africa for two weeks after that (we have house sitters, do don't try to rob us- please and thanks).

Due to recent events, whenever I mention that we are going to Africa, people kind of freak out. And I know what they are thinking:
"Oh my gosh, is she really going to kill a lion"?
"Aren't elephants endangered"
"I wonder what they are going to kill over there"
"Giraffes and zebras are so cute- how could she ever think about killing them"
These questions are top of mind (I would assume), even before I mention what we are hunting. How do I know? Because I haven't even mentioned what we are hunting yet!

African animals are beautiful. They are breathtaking. Mesmerizing. The stuff of movies- literally. But then again- deer and turkey to me are just as breathtaking and beautiful. Americans have a tendency to hollywood just about everything. Thinking about the African safari, I assume, that many people envision the things they have seen on National Geographic. And while that is totally fine- there are a lot of population issues with animals, just like there are in the United States. Just because you don't see zebras at your local Starbucks- doesn't mean that somewhere in the world there isn't a zebra population issue. Being endangered in one area does not automatically mean that they are endangered in all areas!

Hunting in Africa, or anywhere in the world, means basically 3 things:
1- there is a population issue if there are tags available for the animal
2- hunters can contribute thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of dollars to the conservation in terms of the tag purchase for an animal. most of the time, the animal will be killed either way- so economically it makes sense to sell a tag for the animal (that's a major source of income for a lot of African countries)
3- a controlled amount of tags are available for the area- hunters and poachers are not the same thing. In fact, hunting guides in Africa HATE poachers just as much as the next person- they are trespassing and essentially stealing from the guides (because the animals that are being poached could have been sold tags)

Hunting is conservation. There's no if, ands, or buts about it- you can't argue numbers.

That being said- will I ever have the interest to hunt a lion, cat, giraffe, elephant, rhino, zebra, etc? No. However, that does not mean that I don't realize the need for it. It does not mean that I judge others for doing so. Different strokes for different folks. As long as everything is legal and ethical- it's not my place to judge and it's not yours to judge either.

So, what will we hunting in Africa? A bunch! There's almost 300 mammals in South Africa alone! So, we will have a lot to choose from. At the top of my life is a wildebeest! Other animals include an African antelope, Hyaena, Sable, Duiker, Blesbok, etc!

We will be in camp for almost two full weeks and we will be eating game meat the entire time- all from our own hunts! After that, the meat that we don't eat, will be donated to the local villages- unfortunately we cannot take the meat home the last thing we want to do is have it go to waste! It's going to be the trip of a lifetime and I can't wait to share it with you all!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole!

Ingredients
OR 1 box whole wheat pasta
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (i use dairy free yogurt)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp onion salt
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen peas (no need to thaw)
  • 2 cans tuna (5 oz each) drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese - I use dairy free cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta per instructions.
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix yogurt and milk until smooth
  3. Add in ground mustard, thyme and celery salt until blended
  4. Stir in chopped mushrooms, peas and drained tuna until mixed
  5. Drain pasta and stir with the tuna mixture
  6. Pour into greased 9×13 baking dish (I use avocado spray)
  7. Top with ½ cup shredded cheese
  8. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes