Dogs: The other white meat

Sunset magazine, July 2010

 

 Opinion: Sunset Magazine 

Imagine how people would react to an article in a popular magazine or newspaper that sang the virtues of dog meat.  Or horse meat. With recipes, no less.    

Most people – including me – would be outraged.  Dogs will always be treasured in most Western cultures as “man’s best friend,” and horses are a beloved and intrinsic part of American culture.    

Rabbits are beloved companions for people around the world, but they are still considered livestock and a key ingredient in a new cooking trend.  

Recent media reports describe how some “localvores” embrace rabbit meat, and relish the prospect of raising rabbits in their own backyards as part of their commitment to sustainability.  

While I will always support locally grown, organic, healthy produce, I prefer the advice given to Alice by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland when Alice tries to offer the two Queens a slice of mutton: “it isn’t etiquette to cut anyone you’ve been introduced to.”    

July’s issue of Sunset magazine is the latest offender with a feature that promotes rabbits as “the other white meat” served by trendy restaurants in Seattle and San Francisco.     

In March the New York Times published, “Don’t Tell the Kids,” a feature article that described a weekend rabbit butchering workshop at a Brooklyn restaurant.  The article included were recipes and graphic, disturbing photos of butchered rabbits hanging on racks.      

In my experience, trends described as “artisan” and “sustainable” often shift from something that appeals to the epicurean élite to the mainstream. Costo.com started selling rabbit meat last year.   

Let’s hope we don’t see TV commercials with Bugs Bunny hawking Bunny Burgers as an item on Burger King’s “Value Menu” anytime soon.      

Make a difference. Please use your voice to help voiceless: our gentle, sweet, beloved rabbit friends.       

Help rabbits that are less fortunate by contacting Sunset magazine with polite letters and/or emails.    

Educate the magazine and its readers about why rabbits are our beloved companions and should no more be considered “white meat” than dogs, cats, horses, and other animals considered delicacies by people outside of the U.S.      

Email Sunset magazine or send a written letter to:       

Sunset Reader Letters
80 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025  
      

Please include your full name and street address.      

By Phone
650/321-3600 
     

By Fax
650/327-7537       

Also visit Sunset magazine’s Facebook page. Indicate that you “like” their page (“thumbs up” icon at the top of the page) and you will be able to make comments. People who applaud the magazine’s decision to promote rabbit meat have already left comments.

One thought on “Dogs: The other white meat

  1. chandrabeal

    Thanks for this great post, Tamara, and for bringing this disturbing trend to the attention of our readers.

    Yet another restaurant in Marin, CA is promoting rabbits on their menu, too. The July issue of Marin Magazine (pg 56) recommends the “Thursday Night Rabbit Meat Special” at Piazza D’Angelo restaurant in Mill Valley as a “Quintessential Taste of Marin” and a “new classic.”

    Our friends at SaveABunny rabbit rescue have suggested these tips for writing letters to help stop this trend:

    1.Be professional and courteous. Strive to educate and not argue.

    2. Identify yourself as a concerned consumer with choices about how to spend your money. Avoid listing yourself as a member of a group, such as PETA or House Rabbit Society. Unfortunately, being linked to a group will sometimes mistakenly get your opinion discounted as being “extremist” or “animal rights” vs. animal advocate. These places need to know that everyday customers, and animal lovers in general (not just rabbit guardians), do not support rabbit meat.

    3. If you don’t get results, continue the dialogue and don’t stop at a form letter reply. Go to the next level of management or ownership and be persistent and polite.

    If anyone wants to write to Marin Magazine and the restaurant, here is the contact info:

    Jim Wood
    Principal/Executive Editor
    415-332-4800 x 106
    jwood@marinmagazine.com

    Piazza D’Angelo, 22 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, 415.388.2000
    Piazza D’Angelo

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