By Diane Ako
For Christmas, Olivia asked for a rabbit. We have a dog, cat, and fish, and I would happily keep rodents were I not allergic. I would love to have a farm! I love, love, love animals, but I cannot have another mouth to feed and cage to clean.
She would nag and nag us and finally, our response became, "To eat?" To which she would say no and pout.
As a consolation prize, we go to my cousin's house to play with her two guinea pigs. The kids are really gentle with the pigs, and it's just a fun way to pass some time. Val grows lettuce for her pigs, which the kids pick and feed.
Of course, it was only a matter of time until she asked us for her own guinea pigs. "To eat?" we asked, much to her annoyance.
Actually, guinea pigs are a common source of food in Peru, and it's called cuy there. They scamper underfoot in many homes the way people in the US keep dogs and cats indoors. When it's time to source dinner, just bend down and select one.
When I was in Peru I tried one. There wasn't much meat, and honestly, I don't remember much about the taste. It wasn't terrible. As nourishment, I guess it serves its purpose.
I mentioned all this to my cousin Val. "So if you ever get tired of caring for them, you know you have options," I joked.
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