The People’s Protein


I had a new revelation about “privilege” today.

It started because I was thinking about my lack of hunting success this year. Granted, I’m still a novice, and most folks don’t bring home a turkey or a buck their first few seasons. But I started thinking that maybe my sights were set too high, and maybe I ought to look for somewhat easier and more abundant game in hopes of some success and positive reinforcement for myself.

The season tables said that squirrels and other small game were still “in” until the end of February. So I’m thinking I’d like to try squirrel hunting.

Squirrel hunting isn’t “sexy”, I know. Squirrels don’t have big racks or dramatic fans to show off on Instagram. But they are legitimate game and legitimate protein. With tons of recipes out there, I’ve even heard it called “Chicken of the Trees”.

I’ve eaten squirrel as a child, but not since then. When people outside of traditional hunting circles hear about eating squirrel they suddenly get all judgey and start making redneck jokes. That’s on top of the usual anti-hunter crowd who happily eat their organic free range chicken from TrendyMart but protest hunting every chance they get. Then there are the vegan sort who depend upon commercial soy agriculture for their sources of dietary protein. Talk about privilege.

In casting about for a way to describe this attitude I came up with the term “Protein Privilege”. This is demonstrated by people who can afford to eat whatever they want condemning others for how they fulfill their nutritional needs.

This is city people and their organic arugula and Kobe beef looking down on rural people for foraging wild dandelion greens and organic squirrel and rabbit meat. Hypocrites much? Sounds like prejudice and bigotry to me. From city liberals? Imagine that.

To counter all that, maybe a way to attract new hunters would be promoting small game like squirrel and rabbit as the “People’s Protein”. Kinda catchy, don’t you think? They should add that term to NSSF’s hunter recruitment programs.

Small game hunting doesn’t require a big investment in a dog or specialized gear or blinds or stands or big trips to Alaska. Even the gun choice wouldn’t have to be wildly expensive. I’m planning on using a 20 ga Youth model Mossberg 500 that I found at a pawnshop the other year.

Promoting small game hunting as a cheap entry-level way for we lowly deplorables to earn our organic meat seems like a great idea to me. I’m gonna give it a whirl. It sounds like a great way to show anti-hunters their own prejudice and privilege. Hail the People’s Protein! 

And they have cute little tails, too.