It has happened to me before, so I know how this works. It ends well.
I was young, my mother told me to slaughter a chicken so that it could be prepared for dinner. I did the needful: tied its legs, pinned its two wings together and with my left hand on the legs and the right one on the winds, I sliced the knife into its neck.
The chicken gave the best fight it could, blood gushed from the snapped neck and jettisoned about a meter into the air as if it was all this time waiting to escape. I pinned it down and waited till all its palpitations and wriggles died.
I still see the look the chicken gave me as I carried it to its death, I was sure I quit eating meat after that encounter. It was a haunting experience. I sat and thought and thought of what humans do to creatures. Yanking fish out of the waters, denying it of air then slicing the asphyxiated beings into fillets.
|Things have to die for us to live|
It was wrong. I am saying was. I was young and foolish. I gave the chicken back and went to play, when dinner was served, I had forgotten about the chicken until halfway through the meal. I was holding its bone, sweet bone, I did not throw it away or freak out, I crushed the bone and separated the bone from the marrow and enjoyed the feeling of smoking the sweet gooey marrow and funneling it down my alimentary canal.
Fast forward to 2015, I was at a hotel high in the rainy highlands of Shanxi, dinner was served. I did the usual trick sampled all dishes to triangulate and zoom in on the finest dish.
I found one. It was a full platter of grilled brown meat…golden brown. The meat was so delicious, I can safely declare it as the best meat I have had in all my stay in China. Right amount of salt, not too hard, not too soft. Not gamey and if at all it was as a result of spice then that spice is one to be hoarded or copyrighted.
I kept on pushing the rotating table around so that the meat should pass by me as frequently as possible, my whole attention was on it.
I asked my Italian-Canadian buddy who asked the waiters who told us that the meat was actually wild mountain rabbit.
Rabbit. One of the cutest species alive. I paused and in that moment went back to the naïve old days of the chicken dilemma.
I had read of a rabbit so rare and only found in China whose numbers are now just around a thousand. I also read on how some Chinese folk love to eat the endangered: Tigers, rare salamanders, Pandas…. Could this be it?
Even if wasn’t that endangered species, what was the rabbit doing before it was caught? Just nibbling on vegetation and making cute faces with its whiskers? They had to yank off its fluffy skin? They had to break its bones and leave it in some hot oven until the bloody carcass turned brown?
I reached form more rabbit. Bit into the meat and closed my eyes as if to direct some sight power to my taste buds. It was still nice. Still hammered it more than the catfish that was begging for attention in the platter or the other special dishes provided.
This hare, or rabbit had to die, to quote comedian Bill Burr, for me to live, and in this case, for me to feel really good.