harbertby Sophie Harbert
Our first afternoon in Cagli, I remember thinking how quaint the town appeared.  Despite the rain and overcast skies, it still looked like a picture postcard little town.  On the brief walking tour, I tried to make a mental note of all the shops and restaurants. I’d been to Italy years ago and, while Cagli was much smaller than any city I’d previously visited, so far nothing had happened on this trip that really contradicted past experience or expectations.

As we stopped in front of one of the restaurants, Dr. Caputo mentioned several Italian dishes one could order there.  When he said the restaurant served horse meat, I was very much taken aback. My feelings of distaste were almost as strong as if I’d heard they had dogs or cats on the menu. From their expressions, my guess is some of my classmates had similar reactions. But I didn’t even blink when, a few seconds later, Dr. C listed rabbit as another menu item.

With a few exceptions, most of the people I know don’t have dietary practices that are based on religious beliefs.  Aside from religious practices, when and why do certain cultures deem some animals but not others as “appropriate” for human consumption? Is it just based on need and availability, or something more?

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