October 22, 2004

Disgusting Behaviour and Distinctive Taste

The British are great animal lovers. Unfortunately, we have more than our fair share of those people who think that animals are more important than people.

The issue of fox hunting rages on. The will of the townies in power in the House of Commons will eventually extinguish this form of pest control. They have declared it important enough to set aside the other house of Parliament to make sure they get their way. (This is a bit like the House of Representatives having the power to make laws without the Senate if the Senate refuses to agree with the House.) They love the little foxes so much that they are willing to have thousands of jobless hounds put down.

However, in the last couple of weeks, the place of the fox has been usurped by the guinea pig. This is not because there is a groundswell of public support for the gentle cavy. Rather it is the protesters who have taken the spotlight.

If you can't get anyone to take you seriously, desecrate a grave. Or worse, exhume a body and hold it hostage. Protesters have regularly harrassed Darley Oaks Farm, which breeds guinea pigs for sale to medical research facilities. In addition to the picketing, screaming and yelling outside their Staffordshire farm, the owners have long been the subject of death threats and their property is continually damaged, usually by balaclava-wearing thugs in the middle of the night. Finally, they decided to steal the remains of the mother-in-law of one of the brothers who run the farm.

I don't animal rights people at the best of times. Don't get me wrong - I like animals. I even like guinea pigs. But they have no rights. They are animals. Do we have responsibilities toward them? Sure. The Holy Scriptures are clear about this. But our responsibilities do not somehow confer rights. After all, we have responsibilities in how we farm crops as well. That doesn't mean there are crops rights.

Though the guinea pig protesters have been in the news since early this month, I mention this now because of an announcement by Peruvian researchers that after 34 years of trying, they have bred a super guinea pig. Cavies have long been a delicacy in that part of South America, but have been impractical to export. There is just not enough meat on them to make it worthwhile.

The new piggie is twice the usual size, weighing in at more than a kilo. It is high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. I have never had cuy, as it is called locally, but apparently its distinctive taste is similar to rabbit.

I think they should be imported by Darley Oaks Farm, who should set up a barbeque grill every Saturday just inside their gates.

Posted by david at October 22, 2004 12:57 AM | TrackBack
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