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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Mongolian tradition on food reserves. (The respectful method of butchering sheep)

by Tsengelmaa Nyamdorj | 08-12-2019 01:09 Comments 4 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

Nowadays we preach sustainable food consumption but rarely practice; however, Mongolians accounting less than 4 million have been applying a minimalist lifestyle and desired food consumption since ancient times. If any of you guys kept up with my report, you would know that many herders are using solar panels to support their life with electricity. This time, I would like to present one of the rarest, authentic traditions to butcher an animal in the world that has zero waste. 

People assume Mongolian nomads’ diet consists mainly of meat and fat because of our cold winters and continual work of herding. That is not entirely false but in the summertime, most households consume no meat (Bit of an exaggeration there as herders have one full meal in a day but it’s usually light with a mix of vegetables and flour.) but only dairy products. Only for holidays, special occasions or necessities, Mongolians slaughter sheep. (no more than 5 sheep a year) Although livestock has overtaken the number of people, Mongolians still value sheep with the uppermost respect as its wool, milk, meat to even bones are worthy of a dime.

Because every part is used -- including blood -- methods to kill a sheep are fit and contain tight rules for even the slightest procedure; so, I can’t go through all the rules one by one but only general stuff. First, a small incision is made in the belly (see below) and the person reaches in and tears the aorta -- usually takes 1 minute while excreting no blood. After that, the sheep is skinned in which its skin will be sent to a wool factory or will be used as a coat for the next zud: extremely severe, snowy winter. 

Then, each and every part of the sheep is either eaten or used as a component for toys such as “shagai” which is a dice made out of an ankle bone or various other puzzles. (see below) When I say every part is eaten, I include literally every single one from its brain, eyes, intestine, blood, liver, heart, tail’s fat, feet to ears. Even though you might be grossed out by the scene, it’s quite remarkable how there is no part left behind as it embodies the humans’ connection to the land and respect for the feast. The herders are intimate with their livestock as they kill them the way only respected heroes die with no blood and waste -- nothing will be taken for granted. 


If you need more insight, go to this link as it includes detailed, precise explanation of the whole procedure: https://livefromub.com/2012/04/18/what-herders-do-best/  

A man performing the traditional way of butchering sheep Mongolian traditional puzzle


Prasiddha Paudel

  • Prasiddha Paudel says :
    Thank you for this information.
    Posted 21-12-2019 01:32

Hyeongmin Mentor

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Tsengelmaa

    Giving respect to the animals, even when they are to be eaten, seems to be very important. Treating those animals in humane way is another way of interacting with the environment. Cruel and inhumane ways of treating domestic animals are becoming a serious problem nowadays. I hope many people become aware of the issue and think about it before they consume such foods.

    Thank you for the great report.
    Posted 14-12-2019 06:13

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Tsengelmaa!

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Mongolian tradition on food reserves.

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 09-12-2019 17:37

Lisa Mentor

  • Lisa Mentor says :
    Hey Tsengelmaa!
    This is your mentor Lisa.

    I can see that the Mongolian tradition of butchering sheep is not only respective of animal lives but is also environmentally sustainable. The modern-day method of producing meat in a factory-like environment not only degrades the value of lives but also harms the environment. It view environment only as a means to satisfy the greed of mankind. Hence, it is men-centered and egoistic.
    It seems like that the Mongolian tradition on the other hand truly respects nature and is environmentally sustainable as well.

    Sometimes when we get lost in the face of the contemporary world's problems, I feel like going back to the past and looking at tradition and customs is a good way, for those can give us the wisdom that we have long forgotten.

    I really enjoyed reading your report and please keep up the good work dear:)
    Posted 09-12-2019 16:58

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