Memory Lane: An Unsettling Assignment

This is Amos, my curious 10 week English lop! : r/Rabbits

At the old Bayshore Independent, we were always on the lookout for human-interest feature stories to mix in with the news. So when we heard that a woman in Matawan or someplace had just won a blue ribbon with her pedigreed rabbit, hers was a story that we wanted, and it was assigned to me.

Winston, the English lop-eared rabbit, had learned a few simple tricks, was very friendly, and had fur you’d want to snuggle up to. It was easy to see how he might win first prize in a show.

“And what’s next for Winston?” I asked.

“Oh, we’re probably going to have him for Sunday dinner next week.” For a moment, a vision of Winston at the table, in a high chair. But that was clearly not what they meant. Having won the prize, they were going to eat him.

I was only in my twenties then and didn’t fully appreciate how horrible this was, although I was appalled enough. Looking back on it now, it seems to border on cannibalism. Y’know, they kept this bunny in their house and hand-raised him, and he came through with the prize they’d hoped to win–a little gratitude, please! I’m no vegetarian, but I draw the line at eating animals who have sat in my lap.

(Yeah, well, that attitude wouldn’t’ve gotten you very far in the 19th century, would it? Maybe not–but I’m not in the 19th century.)

8 comments on “Memory Lane: An Unsettling Assignment

  1. I’d have a huge problem with that. I raise chickens, and while I still eat chicken, there’s no way I could butcher/eat one I’ve named and raised. I guess it takes a different kind of person…

    And, if you’ve ever read the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, there’s a scene in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe where the cow visits the diners’ table and suggests different cuts of herself for their consumption. That scene really hit me in an deeply unpleasant way.

  2. What a gorgeous picture of a rabbit! Last time we went to Eureka Springs, AR, a big tourist attraction in the state, we shopped at a store where a bunny named Fuzzball gave you your change. I filmed the whole thing. Walmart used to sell rabbit meat in the stores here but because of complaints they ceased.

    1. Funny, we were just talking about that today: Pel-Freez frozen rabbit at the local Foodtown.

      I’m sure it’s rather tasty, but for me it’d be like eating one of my cats. No can do.

  3. Wow, that would surely be an unsettling comment to me, were going to eat that rabbit for dinner.

    That’s as bad as what happens here. Here, some of the folks eat dogs. Next to our canal, sometimes people will grill their food. A few months ago, just down the street, as I stopped to converse with a family, I asked what they were cooking, “Dog.” was the reply, and they asked if I would like to eat it with them. Some here, if they watched the movie, “Old Yeller” they would not cry at the end (I always get something in my eye, I’m not crying), they probably would not understand, but ask for carcass so they could cook it.

    You never said if you wrote the story…well? And if you did, what was your response on that family eating their rabbit.

    1. Of course I wrote the story, and professional ethics called for no mention of my personal response… which could best be described as a kind of oogy feeling.

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