It wasn't too long ago that Carla was a strict vegan and animal rights activist, living in a tiny studio in her hometown of San Francisco with only a few dying houseplants to pass for the influence of nature. She spent a lot of time thinking about food and ethics, and found herself confronted with experiences that challenged her to reconsider the possibility of using animal products in ways that were not just humane, but that were beneficial to animals and the environment.
She decided it was time to get some first-hand experience in ethical meat, so she left the city behind and spent the next few years living and learning at various farms, getting to know the real story of small scale agriculture. She fell in love not just with farming, but with spending time outdoors, hiking, and camping in her spare time and getting to know the wildlife that shared the landscape.
Carla got a late start in hunting, not harvesting her first animal until she was in her 30s. It was a challenge getting started when she didn't have any close friends or family who were hunters, but learning to hunt has been an incredibly important experience that has reshaped and deepened her relationship to the natural world. She is now a hunters education instructor and has given a TEDx talk about her transition from veganism to hunting. She has built a career around preserving hunting memories with her skull cleaning and taxidermy business, Dermestidarium.
Carla now lives with her wife and rescue pets on a small farm in Dallas, Oregon, where they try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Between raising animals for food and hunting, they haven't had to buy meat in over a year, and hope they never have to again. Carla spends as much time as she can outdoors hiking, kayaking, hunting, fishing and foraging to make up for lost time, and is passionate about helping others explore the lifestyle.
Follow Carla on Instagram at @carla.brauer