I call my space a "farm" instead of a "garden" because I am slowly rolling out my plan to incorporate animals into FarmTina. My first big jump is going to be into the art of rabbit husbandry. Don't be alarmed, my dear readers: I plan to eat my rabbits.
Photo from flickr user peet-astn
I've noticed that the idea of raising rabbits for food upsets people, so please give me a chance to explain myself!
You don't need me to expose you to the wonderful world of meat production in the United States. Animals are fed hormones, raised in terrible conditions, and slaughtered on assembly lines by desensitized workers. This bastardization of the food chain is affecting our nutrition, our environment, and the genetics of the world's animal population.
Vegetarianism and Veganism are two lifestyles that I absolutely support and admire, and they are excellent ways to reduce the demand for commercial meat, which would ideally reduce it's production. But it's just not for me.
To separate myself from the commercial meat industry, I'm choosing to raise and slaughter rabbits for food in my New York City backyard. Here's why:
1. I will know that the animals I am eating lived happy, healthy lives where they received nutritious food, had ample space to play, and felt loved.
2. I can make sure that no part of the animal's body is wasted after it's death, including organs, fur, bones, and even rabbit poo, which is great fertilizer.
3. I will hopefully build an appreciation for the work that went into raising the meat which, when bought at a store, just seems to magically appear on my plate with no suggestion that it was ever a living creature.
4. When the apocalypse comes, I'll be one of the only people getting my required daily value of protein as everyone else forages for mushrooms and dandelion greens to stay alive.
To prepare myself for this adventure, I took a workshop with the ever-inspiring Novella Carpenter and Samin Nosrat called The Complete Rabbit. In one weekend, I held a live white rabbit... and then killed it, skinned it, processed it, butchered it, and made use of every single part of the animal- including the brains. It was an emotional process (you would have to be insane to NOT be affected by slaughtering an animal), but I came away with that "I could do this" feeling. And so I will!
Check back this weekend for Part Two of my introduction to rabbit husbandry, where I'll share photos from the class (I promise to be sensitive about the photos I choose) and give the riveting account of a city girl's first animal slaughter.
So... are you guys ok with this so far?