Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Dining on what you kill

Roger Scruton, a country dweller (maybe even an English gentleman) and a hunter has some advice: "The best answer to a pest is to encourage the predator that will eat it. And the most efficient predator is man. The way to re-establish ecological balance, therefore, is to acquire the habit of eating your competitors. There was a time when the government offered a shilling for every grey squirrel pelt. Now the business of controlling the invader is left to private enterprise. The endangered red squirrel has a foul gland next to the kidney which ruins its taste. The greys, however, are sweet and succulent. You need four per person - not because they are particularly small, but because they are surpassingly delicious, redder and more gamey than rabbit, but less pungent than muntjac or hare." But he doesn’t stick only to the wild pests, for he also reflects and eats those animals already marked out for food. The pig may be the best example: It is "a species that could not exist were it not for the elaborate process of domestication that has engineered it to our uses.

The pig was created for the table. He is omnivorous, a perfect way of recycling human leftovers, and at the same time a tame and obliging member of the household. He also looks like food: a round, plump offering on sticks." I note, in passing, Churchill’s comment: "Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig. He just looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal." But never mind that. Read Scruton’s piece. It’s a delight.

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