Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Cute" Animals as Food

"Rabbits and Guinea Pigs! Are you serious!! No way!! You mean old beastie you!" (or worse names, just check out some of the comment posts to me from my husbands sister Lori on rabbits, but anyway...) We happen to have a meat rabbitry, not the Guinea Pigs. They are national favorites in Peru though, right along with their potatoes. Uh oh, better boycott them!

Yeah, right. Whatever.

I have to talk a bit about people who are SO freaked out over this concept of raising small animals for meat. I have to point a few things out.

Our ancestors did not survive as vegetarians. They survived and thrived as omnivores. Hunter/gatherers definitely did not do without in the "meat as protein" department. Those who made farming their mainstay still had to have sources of protein in meat in order to survive a variety of natural occurrences (such as winter, or winter after a drought and crops failed etc) Whatever, the farmers still ate meat as well.

So while in our age of information vegans have learned how best to survive without meat as protein, more power to them if that is what they choose to do. I don't yell and scream at them and accuse them of being plant killers. I mean seriously. Plants are very important now aren't they? They provide Oxygen and consume Carbon Dioxide. Pretty important stuff there.

Anyway, some vegans choose it for conscientious reasons, some for health...whatever the reason, fine...for them. But I will say, it is very difficult to grow your own food if you don't have the land. I mean ALL the food. What to do if the food grid fails? Have enough land to support yourself with just vegan fair, for a year? Probably not. Anyway, I digress a bit.

The problem I have is anyone getting seriously fussy with anyone who raises rabbits for meat (as well as goats for milk and meat and chickens) The garden part seems to be fine because hey, that's normal. The goats too (mostly) But rabbits??? Egads! Chickens even, that seems fine with most but let me tell you...those chickens are 10 times brighter than the real prey animal, rabbit. And there have been stories of silly people asking "Where do you get your eggs" Uh...from my chickens. "Really!? I get mine from the store!"

Or the gal who was buying farm fresh eggs and loving it until she found out the farmers wife washed them by hand before selling them. Because they come out of the "vent" Which is also the poop spot (different chutes, but still) She freaked out and went to back to buying them from the store. Uh...those eggs also come out of the vent and they wash them too I reckon, one hopes. Same thing...I'm digressing again, sorry.

Our western culture is horrified by the thought of cute critters because we must not get our hands dirty (those who are meat eaters even freak out over this because it's not normal, not from the *gasp* GROCERY STORE!? EGADS!) or we get TOTALLY freaked by the thought of eating Peter Cottontail. We as a society are and have been WAAY too removed from our food. Weird, isn't it? And eeekk!! What about all those eggs!? They might have been chickens! Cute little fuzzy chickens! Sorry...I'm running into digression again. Can't be helped.

I'm going to venture a big guess here and think that even those who settled this country from Europe didn't let that pesky little problem of Peter Cottontail get in their way of survival, let alone the natives who were here already. I'll just bet they hadn't had all that cute Easter Marketing. Or rather, being marketed AT - like how we constantly are in this lovely information age.

I could get started on the big agri "farms/ranches" and how they are ruining the food supplies for us all, omnivores and vegans alike...but I'd better stop digressing. I'll be addressing that another time. But in the meantime, I know what is going into these rabbits and chickens and goats. And what is hormones, antibiotics, etc. My animals are all in healthy large cages and yards and have nesting materials with lots of room to stretch, not tiny little cages with no room to move or in huge broods where they can't move. And when they are cleaned after slaughter they are not sitting in their own feces and blood for hours while "being chilled" - Yep, that's what they do with chickens. Gotta get mass production out there for those masses...even the "organic" chicken.

Just some thoughts for the day. Still more to come as it pertains to my husbands sister. I need to get some of my home grown herbs ready for more cheese. Yeah, that would be cheese from my goats.

I think some people thrive on anger, hatred and bitterness, don't you? Why do they act that way otherwise? More thoughts later.

As Hank Williams sings "Mind your own business, then you won't be minding mine."