Just from the title, I bet you thought I was going to be talking about rabbits, right? Guess again. As the people of Venezuela continue to suffer from a lack of food and medical supplies under the yoke of their dictator, Nicolas Maduro did recently suggest that people begin eating rabbits. That idea didn’t go over very well, as most people consider them pets, though some of the more desperate certainly have resorted to that measure. But this is something different.
Some of the people are hungry enough that they are breaking into the local zoos and slaughtering the animals there for food. (Daily Beast)
In a country that once was rich, but where people are beginning to starve, few animals are safe. One morning in August at the metropolitan zoo in the torrid city of Maracaibo, workers were shocked to find the bones of a buffalo and some wild pigs inside their cages with clear signs of mutilation. Thieves allegedly stole the meat to eat what they could and sell the rest on the local market.
In west Caracas, at the zoo of Caricuao district, the same sort of thing happened. Watchmen found the bones and offal of a black horse inside its enclosure. Apparently the perpetrators only took the edible parts of the animal.
The animals they are selecting certainly make sense. Buffalo is close enough to beef (which nobody but the ruling party elites can afford in Venezuela), and the pigs are just pork. Horses may seem a bit more odd, but they’ve been a food source for humans throughout history and are still sold in some American restaurants even today. When you get right down to it, pretty much every animal is a potential food source if you’re hungry enough and that’s bad news for the zoo animals.
That’s far from their only worry, however, and some may think slaughtering them for food might be a kinder fate than what they may face otherwise. One official involved with the zoo employees is quoted as saying that, “the animals are dying from malnutrition and some others are dying because of the lack of medicines for the treatments they require.”
They also tell the story of Ruperta the Elephant, one of the oldest specimens in the Caricuao zoo. There isn’t enough food for the people to eat so there’s no money to feed Ruperta. She is currently going hungry and may not live much longer.
These are the wages of socialism. Nicolas Maduro has finished consolidating all power in Venezuela and is firming up alliances with other authoritarian regimes around the world to help cover his nation’s massive debts and thwart any attempts at sanctions. Meanwhile, those without close ties to the ruling regime slowly starve in what has traditionally been one of the most prolific food-producing regions of South America. And over the past two years we watched the entire story play out on our television screens, with nobody seemingly able to prevent it.