What's a Meat Collective?

A Meat Collective inspires responsible meat production and consumption through hands-on, transparent, experiential education. The Portland Meat Collective is the first of its kind in the country. Our classes are taught by seasoned butchers and chefs. We source our animals from local farms we can trust. And our students, though diverse, have one thing in common. They come to learn.

We are a one-of-a-kind meat school and community resource in Portland, Oregon that offers hands-on classes in slaughter, butchery, meat cookery, and charcuterie. For each PMC class, local farmers sell whole animals to students, who in turn learn from seasoned butchers and chefs how to transform the animals into everything from pork chops to bacon. Students go home with a lot of good meat and increasingly rare knowledge. Chefs and butchers share their art. And farmers are able to sell directly to consumers who appreciate their sustainable farming practices. The result? A growing community of informed omnivores who support responsible meat production and consumption in America.


In 2009, Camas Davis, a magazine editor and food writer, traveled to France to study whole-animal butchery and charcuterie with Kate Hill and the Chapolards, a family of farmers and butchers who owned and operated every part of getting pork to people's tables, from growing the grain to feed their pigs to doing all the butchery and charcuterie themselves. The Chapolards were able to sell every part of their animals as food to their customers at outdoor markets each week. Their customers ate meat economically, often as an accent to a meal, and with a reverence and respect that Camas had not experienced in the States. 

Upon her return home to Portland, Oregon, she founded the Portland Meat Collective to bring the same transparent, hands-on experiences she encountered in France to her community. Her hope was that by bringing more people into the process by which good, clean, fair meat gets to our tables she could create a more informed consumer base that would support sustainable farms, humane meat production and processing, and a shift toward responsible whole-animal eating and thinking. 

In 2014 Camas launched the Meat Collective Alliance, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire responsible meat consumption and production through experiential education not just in Portland, but across the country. With the help of the MCA, Camas is spreading the Meat Collective model to communities as close as Seattle and as far away as Detroit and even Gainesville. We’re now a movement!


​Keep Meat Real. It’s our motto because it’s our philosophy. We believe that everyone is entitled to an understanding of the myriad, often confusing ways that food gets to our tables. The more we become skilled participants in this process, the more control we have over the system that feeds us—and the more we can change that system for the better. A shared education in humane slaughter and whole-animal butchery, cookery, and charcuterie provides an effective path to rethinking our food system. We source good, clean, fair, humane meat from local farms for all of our classes and are dedicated to teaching people how to use the entire animal for food. Eat better meat and less of it—that’s our motto too.

  • About