Swedes are many things and on that list you’ll find are pragmatic and hunters. So there’s not too much hoopla kicked up in Sweden over the unconventional practice of culling nuisance rabbits in downtown Stockholm and making good use of them in Karlskoga.
There will always be bunny-hugging (in the case literal) animal activists who would rather find an alternative to picking off the rabbits by sharp shooters hired by Stockholm City. As a form of animal control they have some of my sympathy and partial support (if they can make it a practical reality rather than a nice rhetorical debate I’m all ears.) But once you have the carcasses of thousands of bunnies you have a practical pr0blem to solve.
The Local reported on the solution Stockholm City employs (article). In essence the bunnies are converted into heat. Not in the form of rabbit stew and fur coats, but fodder for the fire. An incinerator in Karlskoga converts the carcasses to calories for keeping residents comfy on the couch.
The topic is apparently fueling interest around the world. The BBC just published a piece interviewing The Local’s very own James Savage, Managing Editor to comment on Sweden’s take on the burning of bunnies. The international community just love the contradiction of the lovable, cuddly bunny and feeding the flames of domestic heating.
But returning to that short list of Swedish attributes: pragmatic and hunters. I think most Swedes are just fine with the idea. I am not a hunter, but having been fortunate enough to enjoy the sumptuous goodness and butter texture of wild deer and moose thanks to the generosity of hunting friends I can’t get too misty-eyed over a cull.
After all, the bunnies lived happy lives until it was time to turn up the heat.