So why is it if an animal is considered ‘cute’ then it shouldn’t be eaten?  I pose this question after receiving a startling number of very negative comments over my leftover rabbit stew I was eating for lunch in the office.  As soon as the word rabbit left my mouth at least half the lunchroom squealed.  One person asked where I found rabbit (at my farmers market of course) and how I prepared it; I made the mistake of actually answering the question (which included a brief description on how I jointed the rabbit).  I tried to convince everyone it was really just a skinny, tasty chicken with fur but they weren’t buying it, one person even commented they may just become a vegetarian!

Now……how is it that people can be so shocked at eating a wild rabbit yet happily eat battery chicken….it is no secret battery chickens are raised in their own feces and their muscles are atrophied from lack of use…and I won’t even begin to go into intensive pig or cattle farming, lets just say disgusting about sums it up.

I very happily eat meat and I know exactly where my meat came from.  I do realise it is a luxury to be in a position to buy nearly all my meat from my farmers market, local butchers or online.  I know the animals were humanely reared and I recognise all my meat came from living animals. I think most meat animals are ‘cute’ in their own way, even chickens. (anyone interested in humane farming should check out Compassion in World Farming: http://www.ciwf.org.uk/)

Sheep in Dartmoor
Sheep in Dartmoor

Happy pig in Gloucestershire
Happy pig in Gloucestershire

I do love meat…I certainly don’t eat it every day, but a good rare steak…roasted goose…venison stew….and the fabulous smell of cooking bacon, ahhhh!

Drool-worthy steak at Gibson's in Chicago
Drool-worthy steak at Gibson's in Chicago

OK, before I fully step off my soap box I need to add that if you haven’t had salt marsh lamb (L’agneau de pré-salé in France) you must hunt some down and try it! I ordered some Welsh salt marsh lamb a couple weeks ago and had a final BBQ. Just a bit of seasoning and olive oil on some neck and leg steaks…grilled to medium. So fabulously full of flavour and tender. I served it up with some cannelini beans with rosemary, mint and olive oil, a bit of cavalo nero and a fresh tomato salad. Delish.