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Today's Big Story

Bunny Stew and Chocolate Jesus

The perfect Easter feast.

By Richard Warnica 5 Apr 2007 | TheTyee.ca

Richard Warnica is a senior editor at The Tyee.

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Sam Sullivan, I suspect, never gets emails like this.

In less than two years in office, Vancouver's mayor has pissed off his share of constituents: the homeless, the homed, even his own party. But even he has managed to avoid the wrath of the Tanzanian chefs.

Ron Casey, though, hasn't been so lucky.

Casey is the mayor of Canmore, an outdoorsy town at the base of the Rocky Mountains, right off the highway that connects Banff and Calgary. Canmore, unfortunately for Casey, has a bunny problem.

A big one.

Rabbits have overrun Casey's town. They are eating shrubs, destroying lawns, and robbing liquor stores. (Okay, I made that last one up.) So bad has the problem become, that last month the city sent out a survey asking residents what they thought of the city "dealing" with the problem. And by "dealing" I mean killing and by "problem" I mean rabbits and lots of them.

The potential bunny massacre fast became big news. Stories in the Canmore Leader led to an A1 feature in the National Post; local radio begat national network news. By this week, stories on the story had appeared in papers from New York to Brunei.

As a result, Casey's inbox started filling with messages from around the world. A bird enthusiast from New Hampshire suggested they use falcons to cull the rabbit herd, according to the post story. One piece in the Leader, meanwhile, reported on a Tanzanian chef heartbroken at the thought of all that delicious rabbit going to waste.

"The thought of euthanizing rabbits solely due to an agricultural inconvenience would be unheard of here or anywhere else in the Third World. It is a waste of life. And a waste of nourishment," the cook said.

He added that he's willing to spend a week preparing rabbit stew if Canmore will donate its rabbits to help feed the needy.

"It can be frozen and shipped to homeless centres and various other charities throughout Canada or it could feed the town's citizens at a big outdoor gathering."

Now if only there was a major rabbit-themed holiday in the near future...

Tangentially related postscript:

For those of you who prefer your assaults on Easter iconography a little less secular I offer this story.

Plans to exhibit a 6-foot chocolate Jesus at a New York gallery were cancelled last week when leading Catholics complained about both the timing and content of the display.

The sculpture, which was called "My Sweet Lord," and featured a nude, anatomically correct Jesus, was supposed be displayed during Christianity's Holy Week inside Manhattan's Roger Smith hotel.

No word on whether the exhibit would be resurrected early next week.  [Tyee]

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