Eating your Enemy in NYC

Canada goose eating wild grass, by FlashyWings
From a Oct 22 NYT Article on proper killing and cooking of Canada Geese: Don’t Landfill That Goose. Braise It.

The key to delicious Canada goose, Jackson Landers says, begins at the moment of death. “When people taste a Canada goose and say ‘this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Landers said, “usually when you track down the history of how the animal was taken and butchered, you might have an animal that’s gut shot and left to sit for a few hours in the back of a truck. If you handled a cow or a domestic chicken the way that a lot of hunters handle their meat, it would taste gamy and vile as well.” Mr. Landers, a hunting instructor and locavore activist based in Virginia, knows whereof he speaks. He has written a book on deer hunting and is working on a second book, and, he hopes, a reality television show (see trailer below), called “Eating Aliens,” about eating invasive species. …With the help of a Brooklyn chef, Leighton Edmondson, Mr. Landers will cook and serve the geese — paired with New York State wines, of course — at a two-hour workshop under the auspices of Slow Food NYC. …“If someone’s going to eat meat,” Mr. Landers said, “that’s at least better than putting an animal in a dark cage for its entire life indoors, cutting off its beak, pumping it full of steroids and then killing it.”

Jackson Landers’s workshop, “The Locavore Hunter — Geese Gone Wild!” is Saturday, Oct. 30, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center, 540 President Street, Suite 2A, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Tickets are $35 for nonmembers of Slow Food NYC and $25 for members, available from Brown Paper Tickets.

(video via Michael Galinsky)

(thanks to Mary Ann Newman for sending article)

the scrubby, feral and untended

Important article from Nature on the importance of looking at non-native, hybrid, “impure” ecosystems: Ragamuffin Earth (July 2009).


Most ecologists and conservationists would describe this forest in scientific jargon as ‘degraded’, ‘heavily invaded’ or perhaps ‘anthropogenic’. Less formally, they might term it a ‘trash ecosystem’. After all, what is it but a bunch of weeds, dominated by aggressive invaders, and almost all introduced by humans? It might as well be a city dump.

A few ecologists, however, are taking a second look at such places, trying to see them without the common assumption that pristine ecosystems are ‘good’ and anything else is ‘bad’. The non-judgemental term is ‘novel ecosystem’. A novel ecosystem is one that has been heavily influenced by humans but is not under human management. A working tree plantation doesn’t qualify; one abandoned decades ago would. A forest dominated by non-native species counts… even if humans never cut it down, burned it or even visited it.

No one is sure how much of Earth is covered by novel ecosystems.

forum comments on UK squirrel immigrants

Credit crunch dining
Rename grey squirrel meat as ‘spruce venison’ and watch it fly off the shelves at Waitrose.

I dunno. Bloody immigrants – come over here, climb our trees, grab our nuts….

Armstrong and Miller
Kill them. Kill them all.

None of the mamby pamby stuff….
Grey squirrels are non-indigenous vermin that also eat bird eggs and dig up plants to eat the roots, and gardeners often have their entire crops of home grown veg lost in the spring when the grey squiels eat the shoots.
Grey squirrels should be terminated on sight, trapped, poisoned and hunted to extinction in the UK. People caught feeding them should be prosecuted. They have no place here, even though some people find them cute.

Tree huggers
The problem here has been the belief that the grey squirrel is somehow all cute and cuddly. They’re anything but. But it’s good to see that someone in power has realised the need to at least control – if not eradicate – the grey squirrel population. Foxes and rabbits next I hope.

Shooting them is never really going to solve your problem as killing a couple will just leave space for more to come in. Unless you want to spend all your time staking out the bird squirrel feeder and probably maiming a few whilst also scaring off your birds and destroying the feeder with pellets in the process then you probably need another solution.
I would have thought separate bird and squirrel feeders is your easiest solution, just make one lot an absolute pain to get to (covers/greased poles etc) and one really easy for them – even just on the ground.
Squirrels are pretty interesting to watch anyway and seeing as there’s absolutely no hope of ever getting rid of them from the UK you may as well embrace and enjoy them.

Apart from the colour , what is the difference between a red and grey squirrel. The red is supposed to be native to britain and given it’s low numbers is a protected species , yet grey ones are vermin . Why ?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Once there are too many red squirrels, they’ll be wondering if they have made the wrong choice, for red doesn’t really match the colour of the forests.
Why don’t people scream colour discrimination? Especially the animal rights.

and from Facebook:

Association for the Nullification of the Grey Squirrel Threat (ANGST)
Grey squirrels are VERMIN, overgrown tree rats. They out-compete our UK noble native Red Squirrels, and as harbingers of DISEASE they spread their fatal squirrel pox (squirrel parapoxvirus).
We are instigating a REVOLUTION, the rising up against the grey hordes of death.
We must garner support for the eradication of this pest, calling for the total ANIHILLATION of the species on our shores, never ceasing until the last rotting carcass of a grey squirrel is accounted for.
We need to instigate… (read more)
ANGST is a recent splinter group from the “I hate Grey Squirrels” group. It was an almost amicable parting of the ways. We felt that it was not pro-active enough, and not enough blood was being shed. We advocate research (modes of death, tracking devices, etc.), selective breeding of suitable hunting dogs, and the crushing of all dissenters. “I hate Grey Squirrels” was far too tame – it was just all talk.

Illegal/invasive rhetoric

People I’ve been speaking with find it hard to believe that the rhetoric applied to both racism invasive species are symmetrical and mutually destructive. Often the language used to describe invasive animals and plants is thinly veiled xenophobia and racism; and conversely, racists deploy the hostile metaphors describing invasive species to do some of their dirty work.  This is a tiny excerpt from a forum at Bowfishing Country – filed under “politics” and completely devoted to illegal immigrant bashing.

this is OUR country let em come LEGAL like. if they aint legal they aint got no rights. haha i guess you can say they are an invasive species and we as responsible sportsman must eradicate the invasive species

CARPMAN, here is what goes on in my neighborhood
14 people live in a 900 square foot house
not enough toilets, so they have a camp toilet thAT plastic bags, they crap in that throw it over the fence in the alley cause they are to lazy to go out and open the garbage can, the smell is unreal. health dept come out every once in a while and warns em, that’s all, they have tested the feces and found hepatitis c, and other dieases
then there are 6 adult men who go off to work every day doing construction, still twice a week a van from the food bank brings boxes and boxes of free food to the house.
the men sit outside and play the radio and listen to that loud thumping /or mexican music , drinking beer until they pass out, and i have to sneak over and shut the dam radio off at 2 in the morning
they shoot their guns off in the air
they let their pit bulls roam the neighborhood, no shots, and having puppies right and left, then they put the puppies in a cardboard box, go down to a street corner and “try to sell em”
they spay grafitti all over their brick fences, they join gangs, the younger ones do.
they drive like the drunks they are, if they run over someones pet, they just keep driving.
they have no license or insurance
they hang their laundry all over the fences so that it looks like a peasant village in mexico, there are always clothes on the fence
they have 7 cars at the house most don’t run
they change their oil in the street gutter and let it run down the road
they walk up and down the allys making the dogs bark looking for things to steal
if you leave a lawn mower, a weed eater, a rake, shovel, hoe, any kind of a tool where it can be seen, it’s gone in “30 SECONDS”
they make me keep a shot gun at my kitchen door and living room door, a pistol on my wfe’s office desk, and a pistol by my bed, plus one in both our cars.
UNLESS you live among them you are clueless as to what they do to your daily life, no one would buy any houses on this block after they see what’s living there. So those who think i hate mexicans are dead wrong, if these were white people i would say the exact same or worse. i have decent hard working mexican neighbors who hate the ullegals because it makes them look bad to some.i have spent time watching the borders, and have seen the devestation they are doing to our national parks and more. if you think making them a citizen would be the answer, then you think “PETER PAN” ia a wash basin in a whore house, and you either work them, or you are not anywhere near them, they are a cancer, i hate CANCER, and illegals, yes Lightman, i said HATE, and if you can’t see why i do after this post, then your Blind.


REd vs Grey update

Local papers in Northumberland report today that

Thousands of culled grey squirrels later, the invader’s advance into remaining red squirrel territory is still relentless.

CHILLING killing figures emerge from a new study of the effectiveness of measures in the North of England to halt the spread of the grey squirrel and the decline of the native red.

Between February 2007 and September last year, more than 20,000 greys were killed by the Red Squirrel Protection Partnership, chaired by Lord Redesdale.

But the study says that sightings of greys in the North East have increased rather than decreased, suggesting that the culling of greys has not stopped their advance in what is the final English stronghold of the red squirrel.

Journal Live, Sept 26 2009

Taxidemried UK grey can be yours for £94.99 + P&P £15.00 (UK), £40.00 (Worldwide)
Taxidermied UK Grey can be yours for £94.99 + P&P £15.00 (UK), £40.00 (Worldwide)