Monday, August 31, 2015

Protest purchase

Last week, a woman with a shock of bleach-blonde hair and a French accent was chanting 'rabbits are pets, not food!' in a booming voice directly across from a woman selling 'meat rabbits' at my local farmers' market.  Holding some sort of sign & standing off to the side, stood a four-year-old with his mother, both were chanting the anti-rabbit-meat slogan.  The young'un tried to recite in tandem with the women, but wasn't very successful.  His little voice became a distant echo.  The whole production was rather strange and very disruptive to the normally mellow market.  I stopped near the rabbit meat stand and took in the scene.  The woman selling rabbits stood at her table pretending she wasn't being barked about not ten feet away.  Although I'd seen the Rabbit Lady at the market on prior visits, I hadn't been too interested in buying any meat as her rabbits are sold both whole and frozen.  I prefer the meat already butchered and ready to cook. 

I figured that the protesters were probably driving people away from visiting her stand--no such fuss in front of the beef and poultry stands--, so I went over and asked her about her product, her farm, rabbit recipes she might recommend, and signed up on her mailing list.  I also bought a rabbit.  The protesters 'drove me to it', in a way, with all their ruckus.  Outside of fancy restaurants and specialist butcher shops (which are about as rare as a four-leaf clover 'round these parts), one really can't find rabbit meat for sale in No. California.  Rabbit seems a sort of luxury item, but not one I'd shy away from eating, if it were more readily available.  I was certainly spoiled living in Switzerland, where both rabbit and horse are sold in supermarkets.  There are also no protesters to contend with in CH, so that's a plus.

The thaw before the cook.

A few days after the 'protest purchase', I received an email from the rabbit farmer letting those on the mailing list know that the famers' market had 'ejected' her stand from the market because of the protests.  She also wrote that she endeavors to set up a possible delivery service to those who live within a certain range of her business.  What I don't understand is why the market organizers could not have removed the protesters to a spot outside of market grounds in order to carry on their protesting.  Could there not already be a precedent for such things?  That way the protesters could keep yelling and the Rabbit Lady could keep selling.  Instead the rowdy anti-rabbit crowd (of three) were rewarded for obnoxious behavior and the solo farmer punished for hers.

As I write, the rabbit is cooking.  I'm attempting to make rabbit stifado.  The kitchen smells of spices and red wine.  So far, so good.   Thanks, Rabbit Lady, and may you find another venue for selling your wares.


  1. As far as I'm concerned, if it's got a pulse, it's got the potential to be food. Rabbit makes a delicious stew. I'm more concerned if it's raised humanely than if some people call it a pet. Hope the Rabbit Lady finds another farmer's market.

    Your stifado sounds absolutely delicious.

    1. Thanks for your comment! The stifado was the bomb.


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