This year, my friend Margaret and I, under the pen name “Les Etudiantes Sauvages” (The Savage Students) created a project in an anthropology of the animal course where we attempted to hunt squirrels in order to eat a sustainable, local, and abundant meat source that came out of the city. We discovered a lot of cool things.
1. All over the world, people have different food taboos. In england, where invasive grey squirrels are decimating native red squirrel populations, it is considered a civic duty to eat, and hunt squirrels.
2. The only part you should avoid is the brain. This is where squirrels carry most of the diseases.
3. It is important to connect with nature in a more interactive manner. Learning to hunt squirrels doesn’t only get you squirrel meat. It also teaches you about squirrel ecology (where they live, what they eat, when they breed, etc), about squirrel predators, about trap building, and thus what woods make good traps, about other wild foods you can eat with the squirrel you catch, and about what lacks and larders would provide you with clues for good squirrel bait.
We didn’t manage to catch a squirrely thing for our project. But that doesn’t mean we’re done trying!