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Joe Rogan on First-Time Hunt: “I Don’t Think it’s Cruel at All”

by PH Online Editors   |  April 25th, 2013 3

After a couple decades in the spotlight, there’s not a lot Joe Rogan hasn’t done.

He’s hosted his own TV show (Fear Factor), starred on a popular NBC sitcom (NewsRadio) and he currently has one of the most popular podcasts on the planet (The Joe Rogan Experience). When he’s not providing color commentary for UFC fights, he’s also a stand-up comedian, holds black belts in Taekwondo and Jiu-Jitsu, and is a full-time cannabis supporter. You heard right.

But one thing Rogan hasn’t done—at least not until recently—is go hunting. That all changed when Steve Rinella, host of the Sportsman Channel’s MeatEater, invited Rogan and his friend, fellow comedian and actor Bryan Callen, for a five-day excursion into the Montana wilderness.


The two-part episode begins with the premier of part one this Sunday, April 28 at 9 pm ET/PT and concludes with the premiere of part two on Sunday, May 5 at 9 pm ET/PT, exclusively on Sportsman Channel.

“I had always wanted to hunt. I felt like, my whole life I’ve eaten meat and I’d never taken part in actually killing the animals,” Rogan said. “I always knew that was a big disconnect and so I’d wanted to hunt for a long time.”

Once he got used to the isolation and cold of the vast Montana landscape, Rogan said felt right at home.

“Being away, completely away from all the noise of society and cell phones and Wi-Fi, and to be completely away from all that stuff was kind of refreshing. I don’t want to live like that but I wouldn’t mind taking breaks like that. You know I think living like that would suck. If we had to go to the way people lived before electricity I don’t think that would be that fun, but to take little breaks and go camping and to be really out there and really immersed in nature was really fascinating and exhilarating.”

“I really enjoyed it very much. I think it gives you an experience that’s unlike any other kind of camping or even any other kind of nature experience because you’re doing something incredibly primal with your time. You’re not just in nature. You’re in nature and you’re actually doing the things people used to do, you know, back in the caveman days.”

With Rinella as his guide, Rogan said he was surprised how much work goes into hunting. At the same time, he said it was eye opening to finally bridge the gap between field and table.

“You can put yourself into a situation where you’re going and acquiring your own meat in a nature environment like that, like going down to Montana, and I think if you’re going to be a meat eater it’s the ethical way to do it. It’s the right way to do it. I don’t think it’s cruel at all,” Rogan said.

“I think it’s probably the opposite of cruelty because you’re allowing this animal to live a completely, totally free life and then going out and finding it. You go out and get it and in an instant, it’s over. That animal has lived exactly as it would without you ever interfering in its existence and then you’re eating it. That to me is, by far, the least cruel way to eat meat.”

After a missed opportunity at a deer, Rogan finally connected. He was amazed how much work was involved from start to finish of the process.

“It was a pretty wild experience. We began the cleaning, the butchering of the deer. The gutting of the deer, first, that was the first thing we did and we opened it up and Steve took me step by step through all of the different parts of how to open it, how to get the organs out,” Rogan said.

“It was a really powerful experience and I think that if I could, I would like to do this several times a year and get a lot of the meat that I eat in this way. It just seems to me to be the healthiest, and well first of all, it’s fun.”

  • charlie

    I googled meateater to comment on petersens article and this is the closest thing to being there. First, I am glad there are new people interested in harvesting meat to prepare for themselves. Even if they are liberalites. Rural people have always prepared their own meats and wild creatures are made the same way. A picture on a cover showing blood dripping from a hair covered hand and piece of meat is not the way it happens in the real wild meat processing world of true food preparers. You showed just how hollywood you are. Even as corny as Ted is he at least doesn’t try to make it as bloody as possible. By the time the internals are removed correctly and the cavity drained, and the animal hung from it’s back legs so the arteries drain,and skinned there is not much blood remaining except for where it might have pooled under a shoulder or in the neck muscles. The true skill is apparent when there is almost no hair on the meat. A skin CAN be removed without much hair getting on the meat. Do not cut across the hair any more than necessary. Get a lesson from a real cowboy skinning a cow on the prarie by rolling it over on a tarp or just it’s hide. I am not that good but I can butcher a whitetail. I do wash the inside out with water before I hang it, something my teachers thought was unnecessary. Also they were taught not to use water and soak the meat as it changes the taste, If it’s bloodshot cook it for the dogs. Of course shot placement shows the true expertise of the hunter and respecting the animal is the most important part not the picture of the hours old animal. The quicker the meat is cooled off the less wild it will taste, whitetail can be prepared to taste as good as beef easily if it is taken care of properly. A 5 yr old buck should be hung in a cooler at about 38 degrees for around 4 weeks to properly age to make it tender enough to be grilled or just make sausage out of him. Aged venison always tastes much better and that is after being cooled off quickly. Meaning in a cooler or skinned in a cooler with ice but separated from the water. Sure you can shoot it and cook it and it will taste good but it can also be done much neater than depicted on the cover of petersens mag. I know Bob Petersen would not have approved of this cover.

  • Jason Shults

    ‘I don’t think it’s cruel at all’…that’s like saying, “Honey, you don’t look fat at all in those pants. You aren’t ugly at all, sweetheart.” Hey Joe: how about, “Yeah, people have to kill stuff to eat it, and I just did that. Now someone else won’t have to kill my food for me.”

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