Battlepanda: 2 cute 2 eat?


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

2 cute 2 eat?

One man's Fluffy is another man's feast?
A group of rabbit lovers, distressed by a Council of Agriculture (COA) initiative to promote rabbit meat as a healthy and delicious addition to the nation's diet, yesterday appealed to the agency not to put Thumper on the menu.

The rabbit owners, including members of Rabbit SOS, Taiwan's first rabbit rescue organization, made the call at a press conference held by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lwo Shih-hsiung (羅世雄).

Lwo said he decided to take up the cause of the fluffy creatures after receiving a petition from a concerned rabbit owner.

"I have no rabbits myself. But they are my daughter's favorite animals," he said. "They are our friends, not something we take from the fridge to the oven."

Lwo said he will fight to amend the Protection Act (動物保護法) to include rabbits as a pet that cannot be eaten, just like a cat or a dog. Laboratory testing will not be affected, he added.
By the way, note the picture. This is typical of Taiwanese press conferences in the legislature. It's not enough to have a press release and relevant participants, you have to have props. In this case cute, fluffy props. The real story here for me though, is not the rabbit-lover's demands but the Council of Agriculture's response:
Representatives of the COA were low-key at the press conference about their efforts to encourage the consumption of rabbit meat.
Lee Shan-nan (李善男), deputy director of the COA's Taiwan livestock research institute (TLRI) was asked by reporters whether the COA really released recipes featuring rabbit in order to encourage consumption.
"No, not recipes as such," Lee said. "What we've provided is some technical guidance as to the edible applications of rabbits."

At a institute conference on May 3, however, TLRI director Wang Cheng-taung (王政騰) was singing the praises of rabbit as a food.

Wang described rabbit meat as low in fat and cholesterol yet high in protein.

Wang recommended those who are trying to lose weight to eat more rabbit, and even suggested that it might have impotence-fighting properties according to the theories of Chinese medicine. Edible applications highlighted at the event included curried rabbit, fried rabbit, rabbit braised in sesame oil and cold rabbit salad.
Who does he think he is? Alton Brown? For everybody else in the world, a "technical guidelline" that relates to the "edible applications" of anything is called a recipe. Unfortunately, I've seen too much of this kind of soft stonewalling of angry people from government officials.

As for the rabbit lovers. Do they have a case? The law against the eating of pets animals are really not grounded in morality but public sentiment, so I guess if there's enough of them and they feel strongly enough about it, maybe.

The blog against COA rabbit-eating initiative sticker