Is Your Church Cooking Guinea Pigs?

April 23, 2009 by

You read the post title and thought I had a real home run metaphor for you, a lá Killing Cockroaches or Chasing Lions. Well, consider yourself disappointed. You might not learn too much from this one, but hopefully you’ll at least get a kick out of it:

PETA is up in arms (a common place for them to be) over a recent church cookbook called Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread. The controversy? One of the recipes involves boiling and skinning a guinea pig.

Church leaders argue that “[a guinea pig] is easily digested and has a lot of good nutritional content.” The Stuggart Guinea Pig Association, who I’m sure you’re all familiar with, argues “It is shocking. Eating pets is not part of our culture.”

The lesson for your church? It’s probably not a good idea to encourage parishioners to eat things that are cute, cuddly and generally considered pets. Keep your eyes out for the “Is eating pets part of your church culture” poll question in the coming weeks.

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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9 Responses to “Is Your Church Cooking Guinea Pigs?”

  • danielle Hartland
    April 23, 2009

    should i be laughing my head off right now?
    because i am.


  • Lex
    April 23, 2009

    One of my students had guinea pig on a missions trip last summer and said it was pretty good.


  • Geoff in CT
    April 23, 2009

    I think the most recent version of our parish cookbook has recipes for woodchuck, possum, and (if memory serves) rattlesnake. We still sell these cookbooks (published about 20 years ago) at our church fairs. Should I be worried?


  • Michelle
    April 23, 2009

    I’ve ate guinea pig while in Peru on a mission trip. I wouldn’t suggest it for a meal in the USA, but the animals that are pets and those that are food are culturally defined. Perhaps the guinea pig recipe didn’t come from a caucasian.


  • Joshua
    April 23, 2009

    @Geoff I’d suggest you be very, very worried. You, too, could be next on PETA’s hit list.


  • BD
    April 23, 2009

    I think this is a bit of a tempest in a teapot.
    As Michelle mentioned, guinea pig is eaten in some parts of South America (notably Peru and Ecuador) and is in fact considered something of a local delicacy. I’m tempted to suggest that the person responsible for contributing the recipe should be exhibiting suitable outrage at PETA’s lack of cultural sensitivity but that may just be the afternoon caffeine dose wearing off… Dare I ask if PETA was offended at all recipes featuring meat, or just those featuring “pets”?
    It may not be the most ideal recipe to include in a church cookbook, especially given how distanced people in general have become from how their food is produced – boiling and skinning animals is not something most of us are familiar with in any real way! – but I wonder if there aren’t bigger issues to deal with than whether a church recipe book is sufficiently culturally (in)sensitive.


  • Nathan
    April 23, 2009

    I propose a new PETA group:
    People Eating Tasty Animals.
    Thank you, thank you! I’ll be here all week. Try the veil, you’ll love it!
    (I can’t stop! Help!)


  • Jeff
    April 23, 2009

    I have pet fish, but it’s alright to eat fish.


  • Shawn Bumpers
    April 24, 2009

    I have a pet cat, but it’s alright to eat … oh, wait.



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