Out in our yard, you’ll find an enclosure, four foot by two foot, housing a small family of rabbits, momma and her six kittens. Just to let you know how true it is that rabbits breed like rabbits, the mother was born sometime in December of last year making her almost precisely six months old. Her first litter is about a month old now. Momma has been kept isolated from our lone buck because she was ready to get pregnant some 72 hours after giving birth. Once she weans this bunch, we’ll get them together again.
The kittens–you’d probably just call them bunnies–are adorable. Having been handled a good bit over the past few weeks, they’re growing quite accustomed to our approach. I enjoy them. Penny enjoys them. Bo the poodle is fascinated by them, but I’m not completely sure of his intentions. Everybody seems to love these little rabbits.
And in a couple of months, we will “process” them. That’s a euphemism for killing them, skinning them, and then preparing the meat for eating. We aim to give these rabbits a good life, but when the time comes, when they’ve reached their optimal size, we’ll thank them and end their lives without a second thought.
Some of you are thinking me a monster now. How can I murder those cute little bunnies? Shouldn’t we just focus our existence around the warm and fuzzy things of life, pushing away the grim ugliness, the conflict and destruction, at every opportunity? The answer to that is an emphatic “no.” Look at Solomon’s poem:
There is an occasion for everything,Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
At least since sin entered human experience in the Garden, death and destruction have been necessary adjuncts to all the life and progress that humans can enjoy. Until sin is eliminated from our experience, an achievement that humans will never accomplish on our own, it will be our task to ensure that the destructive does not overwhelm the constructive. If we think we can eliminate the “bad” things, then we’ll be overrun by bunnies or by something else that will make this world just as unlivable as living under the boot of unfettered oppression.
So, with the Byrds, we just need to turn to the various activities at appropriate times.