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Stenza have been processing meat more or less the same way for thousands of years, and two central ethics have risen to the top: be efficient, lest the meat begin to spoil; and work carefully and precisely. Most Stenza learn the basics of preparing meat as children by observing adults field dressing carcasses and cut flanks and quarters into more manageable pieces, but to do any of these well requires years of specialized training and practice.



A proper butcher has spent years studying as an apprentice to other butchers to understand how to process a large carcass into more easy-to-use cuts of meat. Often this work is done in mixed groups of six to ten individuals, both experienced butchers and young apprentices. Students learn which organs to leave as offerings to the entities within the Frozen Wastes, including Hunter, while out in the field, as well as where to cut the carcass and how to keep a steady hand without straining. This instruction continues every Hunting Season for, on average, around a decade before a student is considered experienced enough to help train their younger peers. By this time, students have been working on smaller carcasses such as Kʉrdeneχ and other fowl completely unassisted for an average of four years.

Career Progression

While still a student, an aspiring butcher learns to process smaller animals completely without help, and this is considered one of the first achievements in the field. This allows the student the opportunity to instruct their younger peers in the handling of small animals, which provides assistance to older professionals while they work on larger animals such as the prodigiously-sized Basket Horns, which frequently requires multiple hands.   Several years after a student is trusted with smaller animals, they are considered skilled enough to work on larger animals in their own small teams. Often these teams include at least one more experienced butcher who frequently lends assistance or helps with challenging questions. After a few more years, the young butcher is now experienced enough, and has solved enough problems on his own, to begin properly training the next generation.



Butchers process carcasses into food for the Stenza population.

Social Status

Butchers are very highly regarded, and while there are some questions among Medical Doctors about whether processed meat is good for Stenza teeth, many in the field of butchery have followed this research closely for ways to revise their methods.


At some point, possibly concurrent with the advent of tools, the Stenza began evolving away from tearing meat from bone on the animals they killed to survive. It is well known that the first knives allowed certain individuals to divide a carcass into more manageable parts, and this is considered the birth of butchery at large. Over time the art was refined, different cuts of meat developed and some specifically designed for pups (although this has yet to stop pups' eyes from being bigger than their stomachs). The modern form of the art has been relatively fixed in place for at least two thousand years, although innovations do still occur, such as the modern use of nutrient injections into food for pups suffering from Congenital Lipase Disorders and related conditions.
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24 Apr, 2021 16:13

I really like the detail in this article about how butchers train. I like that they have to master small animals first before they are allowed to work on bigger ones.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
24 Apr, 2021 22:16

Interestingly I was inspired by the John Oliver segment on meatpacking. I had an overpowering urge to do "this, but literally the exact opposite" and kind of worked outward from there. It could, in theory, be viewed as an overpowering of "primal" urges but it's really more of a refinement. "We're not cavemen, we have technology." kind of thing.