One-person trend stories: Depression 2.0 Americans love them some squirrel! »
A reporter in the BBC Washington, D.C. office ran into a dude from Georgia who hunts squirrel, and the next thing you know, squirrel is “the perfect austerity dish.” Ms. Katie Connolly, one presumes, must’ve been really hard up for a story to have posted this piece of crap journalism.
You can hear "Dueling Banjos" in the background as soon as the article starts. Connolly uses standard BBC diction except when directly describing her subject “outdoor enthusiast” William Hovey Smith. His family has lived and hunted the “critters” in Georgia since the 18th century—less frequently, one presumes, during the years it was a cotton plantation, but today it’s “an ideal hunting ground.” Delightful! Smith takes Connolly on a hunt, where she learns he even has a “‘faithful hound’” to bring his kills back to him.
Maybe, Connolly acknowledges, some people might find eating squirrel a little icky, but Smith says it’s been an American tradition since “the early settlers…cleared the virgin forests for agriculture in the 1700s.” No, really. And because there are so many squirrels shooting and stewing them “raises fewer of the ethical and environmental questions that industrially farmed meats do.” You guys, guilt-free meat! Why aren’t we making squirrel-fur hats and whatever, like the nutria?
What am I saying—we probably are, or at least, one person in the country is; it’s just that no one’s told us about it yet.*
*Unless both these trends were totally invented by foreign journalists making fun of poor Southern Americans and their plantation-owning, rodent-eating ways. Considering how nonsensical these ideas are—“Feed your family on a dozen squirrels a day!” “Nutria: the bayou’s foe is your dinnerplate’s friend!”—don’t you think it’s likely someone’s playing a gross practical joke on the poor and backwoodsy?