No one taught them the Green Cross Code at school. Strutting around, their pea-sized brains overcome with lust, they don’t care if there’s a car coming – if there’s a likely lass on the other side of the road, they morph into a bloke in a club when the slow music comes on.
I have a friend who taught himself not to swerve to avoid rabbits. But I hate killing anything. My first roadkill was a duck on the A47 in Norfolk. I was doing 60mph; there was nothing I could do. I felt sick and for about five miles afterwards, my heart thumped like it does when I’m battling another bidder on eBay in the final few minutes of an auction.
But I’m not as sick as people who stop, pick up the poor unfortunate and take it home for tea. There’s a whole list of roadkill recipe books if you look on Amazon. Arthur Boyt calls himself a conservationist, but I bet his fans don’t swerve, slam on their brakes or suffer from sweating palms if they see a bunny walking the verge like a tightrope.
I don’t understand people who name animals, build up a relationship with them, then eat them, either. People like Hugh Fernley- Whittingstall, whose mantra seems to be ‘if it moves, eat it’, or Gordon Ramsey, who killed and cooked his piggies Trinny and Susannah.My ethics have always been odd. I’m not a vegetarian: I am happy to gut a fish or remove the breasts from a still warm (shot) pheasant. But I don’t do venison, veal, or foie gras; rabbit has been off the menu since I read Watership Down as a child, and I suffer terrible pangs of conscience if I eat lamb, even though it tastes divine. Kill It, Cook It, Eat It? I don’t think so.