June 19, 2014

Jeanette Winterson went on a bunny-killing rampage, and I love it


She wields her knife like her pen

She wields her knife like her pen

Jeanette Winterson has been many things in her lifetime: the award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, an officer of The Order of the British Empire, and a creative writing professor at the University of Manchester. She’s also, as her Twitter account indicates this week, a ruthless bunny killer. But let’s examine the mitigating factors before we judge. This wasn’t your down-home Easter bunny, dressed for church in a frilly bow—this dang wabbit ate her parsley!



The thing that makes Winterson a hero is not that she cooks the rabbit succulently in cider and rosemary—though that is part of it—but rather that she has the best responses to her pro-rabbit twitter haters. She tries the reasonable approach, as The Guardian reports, asking, “Do you only read vegetarians? If not, why is farmed meat fine but personally trapped disgusting? Think about it.” She also appeals to their practical side: “The skin which includes the head makes a great glove puppet.”

But these #meatismurder recruits are armed with sensitivity and hashtags, and cliches like “you make me sick.” They just can’t be stopped. So, Winterson takes the high road and tweets increasingly unnecessary and horrible photos at their sensitive eyes for the next twelve hours. “Oops. You need THIS photo,” she captions a picture of her cat nibbling on rabbit innards, like the champ that she is.





But really, are these so-called fans actually surprised? I’m not talking about the fact that Winterson is the author of successful books about lesbians, or that she owns an organic food store, or that she has written about the politics of food. I’m talking about her eyes. You can tell that this woman has seen things, just by looking at her. She’s seen what it means to take an animal’s life in the service of her own. She’s seen the conditions of meat farms. She’s maybe also seen these rabbits.

Best of all, she’s back in the news. If nothing else, this incident is a reassuring reminder that authors still hold a position of influence in society, even if we’re not talking about their books or anything important at all. Winterson’s latest tweet reads, “I shall be on Radio 4 World At One around 1340 talking about… er rabbits.” I’ll be there for you Jeanette, praying that you’ll give us your recipe.