On Monday I posted this on my facebook page:
It was really interesting to read peoples responses, which continued to come in all evening. I posted a pic on instagram, which also got some questions from friends.
People were quite divided (though thankfully, respectful) about the thought of shooting or slaughtering your own meat. Many people said that they understood why we would eat rabbit, but didn't think that they could do it themselves.
To be honest, the whole gutting thing grosses me out - so Country Boy does that before he brings home rabbit. We paid to get our pig slaughtered, mainly because of the hassle involved in doing it ourselves. However, I would be lying if I didn't admit that the thought of having to slaughter our own pig really did not appeal to me.
Despite this squeamishness on my part, I can't help but think that it is better that we know where our meat comes from. It forces us to value the meat, and use it wisely. It ensures that the animal has a good life, and is treated humanely.
Eating rabbit is a sustainable way of getting protein. Rabbits are a huge pest - they do a lot of damage to the environment. In addition, they don't need to be fed, unlike pigs, cows, and sheep. And because they breed, well - 'like rabbits', there is a plentiful supply.
In many ways, we are so removed from how our food is produced. It all comes neatly packaged in plastic and jars, and many people pay little attention to what is in the package or how it got there. We get the sanitised version. Chicken is no longer a luxury, because we no longer have to take the axe out and kill it ourselves.
To me there is something good and honest about growing our own vegetables, and eating our own meat. I can trust it. I can trust that the vegetables are fresh. I can trust that the animal has been treated well. I love that our kids know where their food comes from. When people talk about the simple life, this is really what they are talking about.
Any way, we all loved the rabbit pie. We had left overs for dinner last night and it was even better on the second night!
P.S. Rabbit tastes kind of like chicken - but doesn't everything?
What do you think? Could you eat meat you slaughtered or shot yourself? Have I just been watching too much River Cottage?