It’s what’s for dinner

Try doing the heavy work of civilization on rabbit food



Photo Illustration by Nick Monu/

Crawdad Nelson is a carnivorous local writer and occasional SN&R contributor

I eat meat and I’m proud of it.

I was brought up that way. I experimented with other diets, but saw the error of my ways. When I sit down to eat a plate of rice, I want—no, need—a little flesh to go with it, preferably something I’ve killed myself.

Don’t get me wrong. While I think it’s clear that McDonald’s, along with the rest of the meat industry as it exists today, are at least abominations, if not crimes, against nature, that doesn’t mean we should just sit back and let the people in Birkenstocks and drawstring pants tell us what to eat.

I don’t have a problem with those who abstain for whatever reason. It’s more than a fad, I know.

But I don’t want to be snidely chided by those who think they have found the true path just because they are in a comfortable enough position to make it from day to day without soiling their hands with blood. Given current oil-dependent farming and food-shipping practices, I know that blood flows just as rich and red from a plate of vegetation as it does from a rare T-bone steak. You can’t see it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

And let’s face it: A herd of cattle produces no more methane per capita than a herd of vegetarians. I’ve been in small, hot rooms with both and the experience is not substantially different; in fact, a herd of cattle is a herd of vegetarians. Remember: “By your gaseous emanations you are known.”

Vegetarianism and its more regressive partner veganism are nothing more than affectations of the rich. It’s just another way for the affluent to lord it over those resigned to the struggle for survival at a more basic level. In terms of pure economics, in fact, it’s quite difficult to live on bread alone—that ham hock will extend your pot of beans better than more beans will.

If your life is more strenuous than strolling about in a Pollyanna dream from cubicle to cubicle; if, in fact, you work for a living rather than sit dreaming of a better world from behind your keyboard, you can’t get by on fluff. You need solid matter. You need flesh and blood. It’s the way we’re made; the way our ancestors lived for countless generations, the way our benevolent creator intended things to be.

Those who have killed, dressed and prepared their own meat (heck, those who have even a foggy notion of what that means) are at least one step ahead of the benighted folks who hold meat at arms’ length. That’s because when it comes right down to it, we eat nothing without someone being sacrificed for it.

I think it’s better if you know that fact, respect that fact, than to pretend it isn’t so. It is difficult (if not impossible) to hunt and kill food without sacrificing something of your self in the exchange. There’s a bit of blood on the soil whenever we extend ourselves outside the closed loop of supermarket, workplace or freeway, and respond instead to weather, season and geography. We’ve already recognized the economic nature of this equation as a society when we require the hunters and fishers to pay the state for the privilege of supplying themselves with the diet of their forebears, with the funds going toward enforcement of fish and game regulations and habitat preservation.

This is more than can be said of the smug vegi-curians, who eschew their pound of flesh and retreat into their make-believe world where nothing is ever killed, nothing with a face is ever set on the table, nothing with any nutritional value is ever laid in the pan.

Yes. I eat meat. I hunt it down and kill it. I pull it out of the river with a net and set it on a bed of hot coals, and relish every breath of scorching fat. No amount of artificial, self-righteous piety is going to make me feel bad about it. I would humbly submit, in fact, that whatever pre-hominid finally decided to forego the life of the furbearing brachiate to stand upon its hind legs and wear a dinner jacket did so because of the availability of fresh, cooked meat.

Meat provides the strength to dig foundations and hammer together frameworks. In fact, without the vitamin B12 so readily available in a nice, thick pork chop, one has to make a full-time pursuit of blending grass seeds and legumes just to make sure that brain function remains at the level which has made all this professionalism possible.

So as far as I’m concerned, you can eat what you like. You can graze lawns and top it off with nasturtiums. You can substitute falafel for hasenpfeffer and feel good, but, please, just shut up about it. Save the leafier-than-thou declarations. You’ll need that energy in order to think clearly on your diet of raw seeds.