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If You Can Eat a Cow, You Can Eat a Rabbit

We’ve all heard they myriad rationales people tell themselves to justify taking-or paying someone to take-the life of another sentient being because they like the taste of that being’s flesh.

A week ago, Kim Honey of the Toronto Star wrote about her flirtation with locavorism by attending a class taught by survival expert Gino Ferri where she killed a rabbit (called "it," of course). Or at least she tried.

As my right arm began its downward arc, thick stick in my left hand, I hesitated. In an instant and without thought, my killer hit turned into a tap on the temple. The rabbit wasn’t even stunned.

I lost my nerve and handed it over to Ferri, who killed it with three sharp hits.

If you were stranded alone in the bush, would you kill a sentient being? Ferri (shown in the video) teaches people valuable survival skills, killing animals that he doesn’t need to kill, but someone else might someday need to kill, which I suppose is the justification he uses to assuage his conscience. He calls the killing of the animals "dispatching" and says "I’m still tied up in knots every time I dispatch an animal."

There’s an easy way to prevent that tied-up-in-knots feeling. Oh, wait, teaching survival classes is a business, so I assume that there’s an amount of money that makes that feeling go away, or at least suddenly become worthwhile.

I don’t think that survival classes are irrelevant or stupid, and though I don’t think I’d
be able to kill and eat someone, who knows what I’d do in that moment
if I really were lost in the bush? Then again, what are the odds of me ever being lost in the bush?

This article garnered 108 comments, and let me save you some time by
telling you that there are no surprises. Some people are appalled,
others remind those appalled that humans eat nonhumans, yet others
claim we don’t need to, and then some say: Hey, if you can eat a cow,
you can eat a rabbit! What’s the difference?

Of course, there is one person who answers with: cows are food and
rabbits aren’t, and all you can do is shake your head in amazement.

Because of the comments, the author of the article wrote a follow up the next day ("Anger and vitriol over story about killing and eating rabbit." She writes:

of the comments are highly informed, readable, and present a lively
debate on the topic of vegetarianism and modern-day eating habits.

have no idea what highly informed is supposed to mean, although there
is talk that what the author did wasn’t "humane slaughter," so at least
somebody (KateB) is educated in the ways of killing humanely, which is
a relief (and a joke–don’t write me). Oh, then there’s jsvez67, who
informs us that "There is absolutely nothing wrong with killing an
animal if you are going to eat it . . . Take the time to look in the
mirror and smile sometime… see those pointy teeth called canines….
what do you suppose those are for?"

In the author’s response, she chooses to reprint comments which she
calls "outright personal attacks." To be accurate, not all of them are
about her (such as the longest one reprinted). Except for that one,
they’re pretty negative and nasty, and here’s what I have to say about
that: Refrain from insulting people when you comment, as all that does
is give them further ammunition against you. Speak to the issue, and do
so with a minimum of SCREAMING and "mocking," as that degrades the
discussion and acts as fodder for the critics who want to believe that
vegans are vicious, angry, judgmental people.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dan #

    “Dispatch”. That’s a good one. Haven’t heard that one before. To where is the victim “dispatched”? Could you see someone accused of murder in a court saying: “But I didn’t kill or murder anyone, all I did was dispatch him!”?

    I know of a person who is/was in one of the US Special Forces and he got so used to his training in killing humans as a knee-jerk reaction that he was concerned about “who he had become” and about his eventual transition back into civilian life.

    The point is that even as normally intelligent humans, we can train ourselves to be the most ready killers or the most peaceful healers. As individuals, we can choose and decide which “program” to follow and train ourselves in. We can choose peace.

    July 30, 2008
  2. Bea Elliott #

    They justify killing rabbits for survival – And shoot pigs to help (not) kill humans ……

    I agree with Dan – about choosing peace. Unfortunately, it appears that the world is on a binge of violence.

    July 30, 2008
  3. the bunninator #

    "We can choose peace."

    So true.

    Lately, I have difficulty identifying and labeling myself "vegan." The term seems to be so broad in definition, well…depending on who you talk to. And many vegans have tainted what I *thought* it meant to be vegan by their casual acceptance of certain levels of violence and ill will (from welfarist vegans who advocate "humane meat" to those who torch cars and buildings in order to "achieve" peace).

    I stand for peace on a broader, more encompassing, level…including *real* peace toward (all) fellow humans, as well as peace toward this planet.

    Perhaps I'm a "peacegan." 🙂

    July 31, 2008

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