Sunday, February 8, 2009

mm, Squirrel?!

Of all topics vegetarians blog about, dining on squirrel probably does not come up very often. Today, this post may be the exception to that rule (this is Random Yummies, afterall).

In college, I met a guy who actually had eaten squirrel. At the time, I think he was the only person who had tried this little creature. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure that I've met anyone since him who has admitted to trying squirrel meat. That's mostly beside the point. I think this chap came from a poor family and ate squirrel meat that they hunted themselves, when they weren't able to feed themselves from a grocery store.

Vegetarianism aside for a moment, I don't think I could eat squirrels for their cuteness factor alone. To me, eating a squirrel wouldn't be that far off from eating a cat or dog. And while I know a lot of people will disagree with me on that point, I think the fact that squirrels come from the rodent family is enough to turn off a lot of Americans from eating the furry little guys.

The British, however, have stronger stomachs than Americans. They are not above eating their share of rodents. And it seems that eating squirrel is becoming an act of patriotism.

What I mean is that the British are trying to save their darling species of Red Squirrel... by culling the invading North American Gray Squirrel species. Apparently, the Gray Squirrels carry diseases harmful to the Red Squirrels in addition to destroying their natural habit and eating more than their fair share of the food supply. So, the people have stepped in on this turf war in support of the Reds. And suddenly, it is trendy, lest forget Patriotic, to eat the pesky Grays.

I am curious to see if this is just media hype, a temporary trend, or an eating habit that will actually gain in popularity. Only time will tell.

{Image Source: NYT}

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