I am a little late to the party regarding this terrific article by the Chicago Reader’s Mike Sula about eating squirrel. It’s just too good, though, not to take note of it. Agate is based in an older suburb/college town full of large trees and vulnerable garbage receptacles, and squirrels are omnipresent. We have more than our fair share of pigeons, too, and the open green spaces–parks, golf courses, and the like–have significant semipermanent goose populations. I can’t help but look at these abundant creatures and wonder, as Sula does, why and how we lost our sense of them as food sources.
As Sula points out, it’s not like these animals weren’t very common fare right up until the mid-20th century or so. The argument for eating squirrel, and pigeon and goose, is not like the argument for eating insects or worms. So what happened over the past 60–70 years or so that led Americans away from this sort of “small game,” as the Evanston writer John Blades referred to squirrels in his novel of the same name from about 20 years back? Sula has some interesting thoughts about that, among other things. Recommended.