Saturday, June 12, 2010

Urban Meat Choice



(Above diagramm rabbit legs with apple)

By now we all know that eating a lot of meat—especially factory-farmed meat or Non halal meat —isn’t very good for us. Fortunately for meat eaters, some meats are more sustainable than others. And as it turns out, rabbit is one of the healthiest, leanest, and most environmentally friendly meats you can eat.

Why rabbit is the most sustainable meat for the urban people.

There are many reasons for this. Mr. Abdul Rahman from Beruas Agrofarm explains
“The biggest reason that rabbits are a sustainable meat choice is that they eat forage, which is not useful for humans. This means that rabbits don’t compete with us for food calories." Rabbits are also, an ideal choice for urban farmers or diet person. Rabbits are small and can easily be raised and butchered by the DIY homesteader. They are easy to fit in a small backyard, and are happy to help you compost your leftover food. “You can feed a rabbit on your kitchen scraps,” says Rahman the founder of Beruas Agrofarm, and then use their waste as fertilizer.
(Rahman advises against feeding them too much fruit, however.)

Rabbits have a much smaller carbon footprint than other animals because they convert calories into pounds more efficiently. “Rabbit can produce six pounds of meat on the same amount of feed and water it takes a cow to produce just one pound.”says Mr.Rahman which is Master holder in Design Technology in UiTM.

So, are rabbits poised to become the next Malaysian diet staple? Or can rabbit meat replaced chicken and beef? He cont' “I don’t see rabbits taking over beef or chicken markets in the Malaysia or other countries...But maybe this rabbit meat can be a good nutritious supplement or value add meat to consumer in this country," says Rahman, "but it wouldn’t be a bad thing if they did.” Unlike Europeans, especially Italian he notes, Malaysian has displayed a resistance to the idea of rabbits as food, but that seems to be changing.

He had this to say: “Rabbit makes more sense than chickens in a lot of ways, and if people ate more rabbit, I think they would see that instantly. Rabbits are easier to slaughter, quieter than, and not as stinky as chickens. I think it’s a really good solution. We have rabbits and chickens in our neighbor’s backyard, and we aren’t aware of the rabbits. It’s a cultural thing, we aren’t as accustomed to eating rabbits, but rabbit is becoming a fashionable meat.”

Biologically, their fast reproductive cycles encourage rapid generational assimilation. Rabbits, unlike chickens, quickly replenish their own stock, a stock that—with each iteration—is better suited for its particular environment. Being able to reproduce quickly and quietly are clear advantages that rabbits have over chickens—especially in densely populated areas. Unlike roosters, which are famously enthusiastic for crowing about their fecundity, rabbit bucks are known for being doers, not talkers. This noiseless intimacy means you can have both male and females together without annoying your neighbors.

Rahman sees raising rabbit as a natural extension of the “eat local” movement. “If you are talking about being a locavore then even if you live in a city, you need to grow your own food.” If you choose to eat meat, this is a way to do that in a responsible manner. If every time you wanted to enjoy some flesh you first had to slaughter and butcher an animal, it is likely that you would simultaneously eat less meat and appreciate it more when you did.

But are rabbits just too adorable to devour? Not for Rahman, “I don’t have a prohibition against eating cute animals, chicken also cute...and goat also very funny animal…the concept is on the perception of the consumer. I feel like if I’m eating animals I should eat all of them; if not, I should rethink my omnivorism."

You can visit Beruas Agrofarm in Perak to select best breed by your own or to see best farming practices.

This interview conduct by tukang kebun : Ampang.Selangor.

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