Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Rabbit Shenanigans

The other day I was discussing rabbits as an under-used food resource in this country. To read it, click here. Anyhow, in my search for cheap wild rabbits for the pot, I found this story from past summer. Residents Hopping Mad with Rabbit Cull.  This seemingly ubiquitous sentiment makes no sense to me. Save the bunnys; eat chicken.  Let's capture all the rabbits that are overrunning our town, sterilize them, and then set them free. Once we're done spending  tax-payers' money liberating all the rabbits, let's go spend a pile of money on some factory farmed KFC chicken; birds that probably lived their entire life in a filthy cage. Perhaps some of these protesters were vegetarians, who I will humbly admit, have a consistent message.  I begrudgingly respect and admire them for their commitment and lack of hypocrisy. However, given the size of the protest, I'm willing to guess that there were plenty of enthusiastic chicken, beef and pork eaters in that crowd.

This is what is wrong with modern food consumption. The cute creatures get a pass at the expense of not-so-cute creatures. 'Cuteness' should not be the basis for your food ethics. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (of River Cottage) got into trouble last fall whilst arguing the very same thing. He said, and I quote,

In principle, but not in practice, I have no objection to a high-welfare organic puppy farm. You can’t object, unless you also object to the farming of pigs. It’s an artificial construct of our society, a cultural decision, to make pets out of dogs and meat out of pigs: both animals could be used the other way round.” See the article here.


Notice he said 'in principle, not in practice'. Hugh has been raising his own organically farmed, free range pigs for 15 years. He knows a thing or two about pigs, and the first thing he'll tell you is just how intelligent, and similar to dogs they are. Of course, he quickly added that he wouldn't actually eat puppies, but the point stands.  His seemingly common sense statement ignited a firestorm in the media and among animal rights activist. Ironically, if they only knew just how much Hugh has done to improve the lot of industrial farmed animals in the U.K. there would be calm all around...and rabbits probably wouldn't be so damn expensive.

Photos courtsey of Sun Media and Getty/PA

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