It’s true. We ate rabbit for dinner.
The night Mike Callicrate’s team butchered two of our meat rabbits, we ate one for dinner.
As I commonly do, while I was milking, I called my sister. She was right in the middle of dinner with friends. 4 adults and 4 kids. She asked how my day was, and I told her it was incredible, and we just ate one of our rabbits for dinner.
Her: “That’s disgusting!”
Me: “No it wasn’t. It was dinner.”
Her: “But how could you do that to your pet???”
Me: “It wasn’t our pet. It was dinner.”
Her: “I can’t even keep talking about this. I’m right in the middle of eating my dinner. I have to call you back later.”
My sister and I both grew up city girls. It is I who have taken a turn toward the farm. I who have become OK with eating my own chickens. Taking my kids to see a real life butchering, the cow going from grazing in the pasture to being skinned and in two halves hanging from the ceiling of the refrigerated mobile slaughter unit 45 minutes later.
I who have become OK with eating a rabbit we raised…not as a pet…but for meat.
After, I’m sure, she hung up the phone and said “You guys WILL NOT believe what my sister DID!”, she gathered herself and called back about 20 minutes later.
She, her husband and her guests had questions.
“How did they do it?”
“How did the kids react?”
“Why did you go see that?”
“Why did you eat your rabbit?”
And, to the rabbit question, I got to answer: [step up on soap box]
I have the choice of eating my own rabbit or going to the grocery store to buy a $3, on sale, chicken from who knows where that lived in a huge warehouse for 7 weeks squished in side by side with thousands of other white chickens eating who knows what and pumped full of who knows what. Or, I can eat the rabbit we raised. We know what he ate and how he was raised. I’m not saying I don’t eat the cheap chicken. I do. They’re cheap. But when I can choose between that chicken and food I raised myself, I’ll choose the food I raised myself.
They got it. It opened doors to new questions. And hopefully conversations like this will change, slightly at first, people’s way of understanding and looking at the realities of life.
Because that’s how it happens. Slightly. A little bit at a time.
It is slowly, sneaking up on me, becoming my new mission to live organically, naturally, to know what my food is made from and where it comes from. And to answer questions for people who are willing to open the door to an improved understanding of those things than the pseudo-understanding we city kids were raised with.
Thanks to all 4 of you for being willing to ask the questions and being willing to listen to my answers.
- The Goat Cheese Lady