Pets on the menu.

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Pets on the menu.

Post  fortuna on Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:44 pm

BAD HAMBRE
Pets on the Menu as Venezuelans Starve
Many Venezuelans can no longer afford beef or chicken. The government tried to make them eat rabbits. But no. Some invade zoos to carve up buffalo and horses. And many go hungry.

YESMAN UTRERA
11.04.17 12:00 AM ET
CARACAS, Venezuela—In a country that once was rich, but where people are beginning to starve, few animals are safe. One morning in August at the metropolitan zoo in the torrid city of Maracaibo, workers were shocked to find the bones of a buffalo and some wild pigs inside their cages with clear signs of mutilation. Thieves allegedly stole the meat to eat what they could and sell the rest on the local market.
In west Caracas, at the zoo of Caricuao district, the same sort of thing happened. Watchmen found the bones and offal of a black horse inside its enclosure. Apparently the perpetrators only took the edible parts of the animal.
Venezuela’s increasingly authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro knows people are going hungry in his country, but he doesn’t know what to do about it. He keeps announcing new stopgap measures, but his words don’t carry a lot of nutritional weight.
One of the latest programs was the so-called plan conejo (rabbit plan), a failed attempt to start rabbit farms all over the capital in order to substitute the proteins that come from unaffordable chicken and even more unaffordable beef.
“We want people to stop seeing these [rabbits] as pets and start seeing them as what they really are, two kilograms of meat full of protein,” declared Minister of Urban Agriculture Freddy Bernal.
But, indeed, Venezuelans traditionally do see rabbits as pets and not food, so in areas where the government brought rabbits to start farms people started adopting them, giving them funny nicknames, and even embellishing their long ears with colorful bows. No question of eating the little dears after that.

“What we really need is a solution, not those crazy measures the government is inventing,” says Natalí, whose life is a daily grind to find the food to feed herself and her children.

fortuna

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