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Jun 21, 2010 01:30 PM

El Take It Easy Accused of Bunny Hating? Seriously? [moved from San Diego]

Hey, I’m surprised no one has mentioned the STRANGE and (I think) HILARIOUS letter in Citybeat that pretty much accuses El Take It Easy of bunny hating.

Apparently, the San Diego House Rabbit Society has a big beef about El Take It Easy offering delicious rabbit for dinner. They want folks to boycott the place.

Here's a link to the letter (scroll down a bit):

Seriously, though. I'm a huge fan of rabbit -- especially the wood-grilled, rosemary infused kind in Italian restaurants. The rabbit was one of the dishes that attracted me to El Take It Easy. I loved their rabbit taquitos and I think the rabbit cazuela (not always offered) is one of the best dishes I've ever had. Of course, I enjoyed my rabbit with a crisp, cold pint of hops (sorry, couldn't resist). More power to El Take It Easy! No boycott for me.

El Take It Easy
3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

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    1. Hah! This is hilarious. In our home, we eat rabbit (religiously?) every Easter. This year, we made a new treat: Chocolate Easter Bunny (aka rabbit mole):

      But I often just stuff and roast it. How could anyone accuse someone who eats bunny of not loving bunny? I LOVE BUNNY.

      Anyway, interesting that the letter equates eating bunny with being inhumane. I don't tend to equate the meat source as being humane or inhumane. It's more about how that meat lived before it was cooked.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Indirect Heat

        Well said - my sentiments exactly. I am a completely egalitarian food eater, although I do abstain from bird's nest and sharksfin because it is essentially impossible to obtain those humanely.

        This issue also reminds me of the problem I have with vegetarians who eat seafood because they don't consider it meat... (not that I really want to start THAT argument now)

      2. Thats just silly. I dont eat meat, so maybe I dont understand much, but I've never understood choosing to eat some species and not others, I would think you either eat it or you dont, I dont care if people eat dog, horse, rabbit, whatnot although I'd prefer it was free range...

        It just seems to be another reminder of how far removed we have become from our food...

        It was very interesting watching the recent Billy Connoly documentary up in the Pacific Northwest where he was with an inuit tribe and just couldnt bring himself to eat seal.

        9 Replies
        1. re: jennywenny

          Thank you for this. I can easily understand the reasons people become vegetarians. While I don't find those reasons compelling, I can easily understand why other people do. But among meatitarians, the refusal to eat cute meat seems to be a tad intellectually dishonest.

          1. re: Indirect Heat

            I have a koi pond in my back yard. They are pretty and they do have personalities, and while I would never eat one of my fish, (carp really are not that great to eat which I wish the herons that frequent my backyard would understand) I love to eat fish. I also don't avoid eating meat from a Brown Swiss cow because it is a prettier cow than your standard beef cow. That argument is just silly, and good luck with that argument over in Europe where rabbit is much more a staple than here.

            1. re: littlestevie

              As a counter-point, I don't find it silly regardless of it being irrational or not. I love bacon, a great hamburger or a rack of ribs....but I find it disgusting to eat my pets. I guess that is why I never joined the 4H Club.

              1. re: MrKrispy

                From what I know, 4Hers usually sell their animals at the fair. For very nice sums of money.

                Sam Fujisaka said he drew the line at primates which is something I'd never thought about but can see the rationale. Just a wee bit too close - at least to those of us who believe in evolution :)

                1. re: c oliver

                  I draw the line at critters that are endangered (which includes most higher primates). I don't want to contribute to the destruction of a species. But everything else is fair game. Hell, I ate dog soup in Korea about a week ago. And while it was a tad fatty for my taste, it was delicious.

                2. re: MrKrispy

                  I think that's a natural and reasonable response. When I was a kid we grew a lot of our own meat (chickens and rabbits) and traded for most of the rest (beef, pork, and lamb). There was always a bright line between meat animals and pets.

                  Rabbits were the hardest. We were allowed to name the breeding stock, cuddle with them, play with them, etc. But there was a strict rule against calling their offspring anything other than "dinner."

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    Yes. I worked with a woman, single parent raising two kids, little or no support. She would raise one or two heifers to slaughter each year. Some to keep,more to sell. She named them things like "t-bone" and "tri-tip" to remind herself and her children their purpose.

              2. re: Indirect Heat

                I wouldn't call the refusal to eat cute meat intellectually dishonest...but I would call it emotionally dishonest...although I do understand not wanting to eat pets aka a member of the family.

                1. re: ML8000

                  I doubt there is anyone who loves their pets anymore than we do. People say if there's reincarnation they want to come back as one of them. But if it ever got down to our literally starving to death, I would eat my pets. Seriously. I would.

            2. I live by the motto the more cute the animal the better it tastes. Lamb and rabbit ftw.
              I had no inclenation to go to this restaurant but if someones protesting I'll go out of my way. just like Foie Gras ...which is really to rich for my tatses but as soon as Peta starts protesting a restaurant I'm all about some Foie Gras .

              5 Replies
              1. re: chris2269

                Whoa. I'm not there with you. I don't eat it because people don't want me to.

                1. re: c oliver

                  I think the whole ethical debate about which animals are OK to eat is absurd. I agree with you about not eating something you are emotionally attached to. If you like rabbits and have them as pets I am 100%behindnd your reasoningng why you would not want to eat them. On the other hand if you came to me and say I am some how less ethical because I do not have the same feelings (not that you are just an example) I would have a problem with that. The example with Foie gras protests is that it is not against Foie Gras as much it is about the eating of any animal.

                  1. re: chris2269

                    I clearly mis-wrote. Let me see if I can rephrase. If I eat something or don't eat something, it has nothing to do with someone wanting or not wanting me to. My decisions.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I understand and again respect that. I was maybe a little too flippant (if that's a word) in my statement. My urge to eat Foie, even if its not something I normally seek out is more of a reaction to the protests that tell me I should not. I guess my reacting to someone telling me I shouldn't do something ...I normally wouldn't do anyway..and then do in a reaction against is kinda of hypocritical..but hey it makes sense to me in some sort of weird way :)

                      1. re: chris2269

                        What's weird is that I think I understand what you're saying!

              2. It's not that they are cute. It's that once you have one as a pet, it's hard to eat a rabbit. And, it's not like we're in the third world or raising rabbits for survival -- we have a choice because we can afford to eat at a restaurant. I once ate rabbit and thought it was pretty good. Now I don't because I live with several as pets.

                We don't live in Korea or in France. If I visit there I might try their local dishes. However, just because a culture does something doesn't mean it's right (female castration anyone?).

                3 Replies
                1. re: patmul

                  I'm sorry but your last paragraph is one I can't get my brain around. You say you might eat the local cuisines,but then you intimate that it's wrong. Why would you eat it then? And I think the leap from eating rabbits to condoning female genital mutilation is just beyond me.

                  1. re: patmul

                    If you're just talking about your personal preferences and choices, then I'm with you. But you seem to imply that there should be a general societal norm.

                    At the risk of offending those who defend traditional cultural practices, female genital mutilation is wrong. Period. And anybody who equates eating rabbit with such a barbaric practice is seriously deluded.

                    The simple fact is that rabbits were raised for their meat long before they were pets. Not just in Korea or France (or ancient Rome), but in the good ol' U-S-of-A. In the last hundred years or so, some people have decided to keep rabbits as pets. I don't have a problem with that. But other people keep pigs as pets, too. Is that a reason for the rest of us to stop eating pork?

                    Your preferences are what they are, and I will always respect them. But don't try to turn them into general social mores. The decision to eat one quadruped but not another is inherently arbitrary.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Your preferences are what they are, and I will always respect them. But don't try to turn them into general social mores. The decision to eat one quadruped but not another is inherently arbitrary.