London Diary – Was the Rabbit a Murder Victim or Simply Food?

Jal Paddy,

A few weeks back a rabbit ventured into the back garden of this mzungu author and ate the woman’s vegetables.

Unfortunately for the rabbit, it was duly caught by the lady, who went on to kill and eat it. And while in the middle of disembowelling the animal, she spared a few minutes to take some pictures of the ‘body evidence’ and post them on Twitter with the caption, ‘Rabbit ate my parsley. I am eating the rabbit.’

You should have seen how pissed and outraged people were over this. A few ‘Rest in peace’ tweets were even posted for the poor rabbit. The animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) condemned this ‘heartless’ act on the part of the rabbit killer. They went on to say ‘Rabbits are sensitive, smart, social animals who form life-long bonds, and each has a personality in his or her own right.’

And so killing them just like that is ignorant, arrogant and cruel. But although the animal rights people and protesters don’t explain exactly how one would enjoy such a delicious treat without first having to slaughter and skin the thing, I somehow see their reasoning in this case. The author lady shouldn’t have gone about bragging of her catch on Twitter like that.

Which brings me to another ‘poor animal’ story the ‘yellow piglets’ at Uganda’s Parliament last month. The press reports show how the three arms of state effortlessly joined hands to deal with the innovators of this scheme.

And while the state prosecutors prepared a case for interrupting parliamentary activities and criminal trespass against these boys, the Uganda police were busy brainstorming on how much these piglets should go for on the open market.

The general population, as usual, was left to chew over the issues brought forward by these young political activists, and to marvel at their ingenuity. Now Jal, for the sake of argument, imagine if the Parliament episode of the ‘Two piglets’ had happened in London and the incident of the rabbit took place somewhere in Kampala. How do you think the two stories would have played out?

I can bet you, the British press would have dwelt more on the plight, background, history and welfare of these two creatures than on ‘our two young innovators.’ Meanwhile somewhere in Kampala, the rabbit would be getting less sympathy for ending up in the rabbit killer’s pot. After all, it was caught red-handed trespassing and munching at the woman’s vegetables – lucky woman.

Switching these two scenarios would show a huge difference in mindsets on how we each relate and co-exist with animals as human beings. I cannot speak with full authority on the ‘London mindset’, but I do know we Ugandans are still a bit callous in our dealings with animals.

We pack-carry goats on boda-bodas with their heads tilted down. We transport cattle over long distances in overcrowded trucks and our kids stone geckos (don’t ask me how I know this) and cats for sport, amongst other acts of animal cruelty. I bet such behaviour would in turn reflect on the way we treat fellow human beings who are strangers to us.

More importantly, it reflects badly on our African ancestral teachings which aocate for respect for ‘food.’

Your friend,

Chris.

Source : The Observer

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