I need some advice.
I’ve never had rabbit. I’ve always wanted to try rabbit. So imagine my surprise when browsing through the meat department of Market Basket, I saw rabbit. Skinned and clean, of course, wrapped in cellophane, but a whole rabbit.
Later, I would post on Facebook whether or not anyone knew how to cook rabbit. They can be cooked liked chicken, someone replied. That’s fine, because I’ve cooked plenty of chickens. I was less interested in the tips on how to prepare the rabbit––seasoning and such––because I only wanted to know how cooked the rabbit must be before it’s safe to consume. I like to know what the animal tastes like free of herbs and condiments.
John informed me that I would be eating the rabbit alone. That’s fine, because there would be more for me and Dicky. (Oh, can dogs eat rabbit? That’s something else I need to know)
My dilemma is this.
April, 2012, I was living in Danvers. On Easter Sunday, I went for a walk to the Liberty Tree Mall. I like going to places where I know no one will be. And owing to Massachusetts Blue Laws, there’s no place more desolate and silent than the shopping mall. (Yes reader, the mall was closed. No reader, this is not a confession I am writing from the interrogation room of a police department, so you can be confident in knowing that I wasn’t walking in the mall)
Along the road that runs behind the mall, connecting Walnut Street to Endicott, I found a dead rabbit. Immediately, almost involuntarily, my hand went into my pocket to retrieve the camera that I bought myself on my last birthday. Immediately, almost involuntarily, the joke was clear in my mind (What’s that reader? You don’t know what the joke is? You don’t understand what’s funny about this? Let me spell it out for you. Dead Rabbit + Easter Sunday. Go on, I’ll wait.) I wanted to take a picture of this rabbit, who had been struck down sometime on or before Easter, and post it online. Maybe make a cleverly worded meme and see if I could achieve my fifteen…th of a second’s fame through Facebook or Twitter. But I hesitated.
I hate Easter.
It’s nothing from my childhood. My memories of Easter were always pleasant. Okay, there was one particular Easter that wasn’t so nice, but it wasn’t enough to color my feelings about the entire holiday(there were actually two). The day it happened was the day before Easter, when I was working the cash register at K-mart. What was in the carts, the amounts they totaled.
K-mart sold eggs and Easter candy, but these weren’t Easter sales. Video games, movies, Transformers toys and dolls. This was… Christmas shopping. I remembered Lewis Black’s famous joke about Christmas being Thanksgiving Part One and thinking, “Oh Crap. Easter is Christmas Part Three.”
And that’s why I hate Easter. Because as a child, Easter was a day to color eggs and then go looking for them and then to start devouring them along with the chocolate bunnies and other assorted sweets.
Oh and to religious people who are going to try to respond with shame, over how I could hate a holiday that marks the resurrection of Christ, I reply, “You or wrong, Sir or Ma’am!” Easter is named for the goddess of spring. A pagan goddess. If you were truly devoted as your brain tells you you are, you would refer to the day in question as Resurrection Day. But if you insist on celebrating “Easter” then I remain steadfast in my hatred of this day and the failure of humanity that prompted my feelings.
I could not take the picture. It wasn’t that I was worried about the backlash from the media or from the knee-jerk reactionists that inhabited Twitter, Facebook, and Buzzfeed. It wasn’t that I was afraid of destroying the innocence of children the world over (although I know and am related by blood and marriage to a number of kids who would have found it hilarious). I couldn’t take the picture, because I felt it would be disrespectful to the rabbit.
Yes, I did not want to show disrespect to an animal that that the world collectively describes as something that destroys gardens and reproduces. I didn’t kill the rabbit, but it didn’t die for my amusement, or for the continued amusement of the Internet.
Fast forward to 2016.
I saw the rabbits in their nice packaging, with the label that told me they came from a farm in Iowa. The clerk told me they carried this often, so there was no rush to buy it now.
Later, I will buy one. I will cook it to perfection, trying my hardest not to ruin it. And I will serve it on a plate, with some eggs. Maybe they’ll be scrambled, maybe they’ll be boiled. And some greens. A nice green salad. For full effect, I may also place an appropriately decorated Easter basket on the table beside the plate with the rabbit and the eggs and the salad.
I know, faithful reader, that you see where I’m going with this. To I take a picture of this? Will it make me a hypocrite, to feel so horrible for doing this to roadkill, but not to the one I am about to eat (The rabbit I bought from the store, not the roadkill, please keep up)?
What do you think? Please tell me soon.
Nathanielle Sean Crawford
Author of the blogs Confessions of a Cart Jockey
And the e-books: Survive by the Sword
Try roasting it with some sage.