Author Topic: So, What If I Eat Bush Meat?  (Read 2604 times)


  • Posts: 20
So, What If I Eat Bush Meat?
« on: July 17, 2007, 03:10:10 AM »
So, What If I Eat Bush Meat?

    We do not always bear in mind, that though food may be now
    superabundant, it is not so at all seasons of each recurring year (Charles Darwin, 1809-1882 On Natural Selection)

It is one of those arguments at work that has become part of working life, the types that normally heat up when everyone is feeling under pressure from the ever increasing work load, at such times small banters are taken out of context to set the stage for a verbal version of Saddam Hussein’s mother of all wars. The ‘warring’ parties tend to resort to the English language and their command of the language to try to intimidate each other.

Anyway, thank God for civilization, I am sure if we were in Nigeria, arguments such as the one I am about to describe would have been best settled with fists and blows, a transferred aggression strategy we use to vent our frustrations with our government and ourselves on the next person or situation, but this time this remained only an argument over the belly and its secrets.

I was minding my business on this particular day when this colleague of mine Paul (not his real name), began to praise Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Labour party for their plans to ban fox hunting in the UK, from his manner, it was obvious that he was throwing an open invitation for people to butt in and comment, fox hunting in the Uk as we all know is an age old national ‘sport’ and so pages of newspapers and tabloids have been awash with various arguments on the pros and cons of banning this national way of life.

As an African and Nigerian who had actually hunted crickets and bush meat, and also enjoyed roasting them, it is quite difficult to convince me on why people should not be able to hunt bush animals freely, I do not believe so much in the argument of animals being classified as endangered species being that our past and immediate experiences in Nigeria actually shows that it is us, the humans (Nigerians) that are the real endangered species, and so my loyalty will lie more with humans and also in the belief of the sanctity and superiority of human life over and above that of animals. If in the process of preservation and survival the animal has to be sacrificed to keep and nourish the human life, so be it.

My colleague flipped on hearing my views and couldn’t understand my ‘weird’ position as he called it, he became more infuriated when I told him how I used to enjoy killing the Sunday chicken (a privilege) in my days as a youngster, for the reward of eating the chicken head with the Sunday rice to the envy of our neighbour’s children, by this time Paul was almost on the verge of pouncing or launching a physical attack on me.

He should still be thanking his stars though that he didn’t, because if he had, I would have descended on him the way a Lagos molue bus with failed breaks will descend on an okada motorcycle, all those survival skills and instincts acquired on the streets of Lagos dodging armed robbers and stray police bullets, the teeth made stronger from years of crushing cow legs, the physical training received at the hands of Corporal Asuquo at the NYSC orientation camp in Katsina-Ala, and the blows received from those campus cultists in my undergraduate days, how can I forget my fingers made sharp from killing mosquitoes and the skin made tough by mosquito and other insect bites: The full weight, venom and anger of all these would have come crashing down on him, I am sure Paul wouldn’t want to mess with me or any other Nigerian if he knew what we had been through in life.

To infuriate him further, I told him that I couldn’t for sure say that I hadn’t eaten dog meat (Paul owns a dog) in the past either being that during my undergraduate days at the University of Uyo, we had heard rumours of F.I.R (food is ready) or Buka operators serving students dog meat (aka 404), a local favourite and delicacy in place of goat and bush meat, and that as students with very limited resources who probably were operating the revolutionary 0-0-1 (no breakfast and lunch, only dinner) or 0-1-0 (no breakfast and dinner, only lunch) eating formula, we cared less what meat (kpomo, 404, shaki, round-about, towel, tozo etc) we had on the plate and couldn’t even under the circumstance tell the difference between a cat and a rabbit.

After calming himself down and coming back to his senses, Paul began to see the other side of the coin as he began to see that in life it is different strokes for different folks.


If culture is a people’s way of life, why didn’t the Judge and Jury consider that when they sentenced the Nigerian couple caught selling bush meat at Dalston market, East London to jail in 2001? I think the Judge and Jury in that case should be sponsored for holidays to Benue state in Nigeria where I am sure the villagers will treat them to their special delicacy of roasted rats, and if they enjoy the feast and want to sample some more local delicacies, then Umunede should be their next stop where they will get to taste the roasted monkeys under the sun’s shadows, with some jars of palm wine to wash it down.

I still haven’t forgiven the Queen’s customs officers at Heathrow airport, on my way back from a recent trip to Nigeria, I had different types of orishirishi stuffed into my Ghana-must-go bag and was actually looking forward to a few weeks of enjoying Nigerian food at home, how mistaken I was, they stopped and searched me and discovered all the ‘contraband’ I had neatly packed into the bag, including the kilishi (dry suya) that I proverbially crossed seven rivers to buy, when one of the officers asked me what type of meat it was, my sharp reply told him my frustration – bush meat and what, if I eat bush meat.


  • Posts: 451
So, What If I Eat Bush Meat?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2007, 06:38:19 PM »
This is interesting. You seem to be wanting to rub it in rather than explain to them/ him (Paul). Very Interesting read.
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