Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stone on the water

If you recall from last year, we had a big problem with squirrels in our garden. This year we decided to solve that problem.
Full copies of recipe available

The following images may be disturbing to some of you who don't eat meat. Or maybe to some of you that do. Which is one of those things I don't quite understand. Isn't it better to realize that meat doesn't come from styrofoam packages at Wal-mart, but that the animals I eat are living and breathing creatures? Wouldn't I rather eat animals that have had happy lives, collecting nuts and stealing tomatoes?

I don't have a problem with vegetarians. I ate vegetarian for a significant length of time, and I have frequently used vegan fasts as a way to reorient my relationship with food, especially the highly processed factory food force-fed us by our culture. But that's exactly why I believe my dinner this evening should be celebrated. I must admit, I'm extremely proud of myself. Not just for obeying the Bible's injunction (The slothful man roasts not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious. --Proverbs 12:27), but for saying grace over my meal, for thanking my dinner for her life.

I have a good friend who was forbidden from raising chickens in her community by her herbivore neighbors. It's one thing to eat animals, but evidently it's a big problem to eat animals that you know. If I choose to eat animals, then I'm going to make my best attempt to be as intimately involved with every step of their lives as possible. If nothing else, today's experiment makes me fairly confident I won't die of starvation in Alabama.

Squirrel stock


Squirrel gravy


Not hungry anymore

I was grateful for the nourishment. That sounds cavalier, but it's true. I certainly thought about my dinner a lot more than I thought about my spaghetti for dinner last night, or my chicken for dinner the night before. Not to mention that it was delicious.


Anonymous said...

"If I choose to eat animals, then I'm going to make my best attempt to be as intimately involved with every step of their lives as possible." I think this is great, Melissa. If I ever eat meat again, it will be at my own hand. (I don't foresee that happening, but I'm just sayin'.)

My husband has a similar attitude, and if the day ever comes that he wants chicken, then as long as he can man up (excuse the expression) and take out one of our hens, I will make him the best chicken stock and cutlets ever. Well, maybe - I've grown awfully fond of our girls - but you get the point.

It's one of the principles we're trying to instill in our daughter - not that we want her to become a hunter or anything like that, but at least to know, to really know, where her food is coming from and to appreciate every bit of it. Does that make any sense? I've been up since 0430 studying and still haven't had any coffee.

Red Sonia said...

This is great! How did it taste? How did you kill the squirrel (or is that too connected to ask). Very proud of you.

Melissa said...

Thanks so much both of you! I was especially worried about my vegan readers, so I'm glad that I was able to express my principles of eating meat effectively. The reason I quit being a vegetarian was when I revisited Thailand--I couldn't convince myself that there was anything wrong with the meat that these poor people were feeding me as a guest It was one of the turning points for me, one of those moments where I realized the problem wasn't eating animals in and of itself, but *how* we ate them in our culture.

Ellen D. said...

Now I know I wouldn't starve at my house either...but I wonder how hungry I would have gotten before I _thought_ of the squirrels!? Yes,
'how' we eat the animals. What about squirrels fattened on sunflower seeds meant for birds? Haha... P.S.Seems like if your vegan friends want you to respect their choice of diets (which it appears you do, completely), they should respect yours.

Melissa said...

Certain members of the household have been desperate to eat squirrel for more than a year. We watch way too much "Bizarre Foods."

I had this crazy dream last night about baby monkeys living on the porch, who were able to survive because I had hunted off predators. I'm not sure what that has to do with sunflower seeds, other than my subconscious processing of the reality of the food chain.

Amy said...