Hi! My name is Jaz Stringfellow (they/them) and I’m a third year music education major from Ventura County. I am the year of the rabbit. I was interested in this class because I’ve always enjoyed cooking starting in high school, when I’d have to figure out how to feed myself after school. Cooking and preparing food has always been a creative outlet for me because my empty stomach always pushed me to think outside the box and create things in a way I still have trouble with as a musician.
The quarantine has given me plenty of practice cooking and inventing new meals and snacks, but at the same time, there are days where I get by with the most minimal amount of food. Our day-to-day lives have been turned upside down, and it’s no surprise that our sense of disconnect with ourselves and our appetites is apparent through our current eating habits.
Being back home has its ups and downs. I’m currently living with my mom, dad, and sister, and I find that it brings me much joy to make brunch for everyone. My latest concoction has been quesadilla rollers! I got the idea from my mom who made us quick-and-easy quesadillas that consisted of just a single tortilla, melted cheddar cheese, and canned chicken rolled up. It’s much faster, and you can get more creative with the toppings/fillings. They were very delicious, and everyone liked them! Cooking like this doesn’t happen all the time, though. It doesn’t take a lot to de-motivate me from putting in effort to making a nutritious meal lately.
Discovering my newfound identity as a rabbit has been interesting. I can relate to the foods the rabbit eats, it mostly being vegetables, various greens, and sources of proteins that aren’t meat. I’m not a huge fan of red meats and try to have vegetables with most meals. I can connect to the rabbit in that way, but I can’t say I’ve ever eaten rabbit meat. My dad however, owned a rabbit farm with his family when he was younger, and he tells me it’s the best-tasting meat he’s ever had, so I do hope to try it one day.
I researched the topic of rabbits in laboratories. When I first think of animal testing, I always imagine rats, because that’s what we see in the media, and of course guinea pigs because of the term used when testing out a method or idea on someone. Apparently, “rabbits are one of the most commonly used animals in research and testing, second only to guinea pigs,” (AmericanAnti-VivisectionSociety.org). AAVS also says this is because rabbits are so mild-mannered. Reading about this brought great discomfort to me and made me think about myself. Do I come off as mild-mannered enough to other people that they feel they can push me around? I mean, not to the extreme to be experimented on, but is this a subtle sign from the universe that it is time for me to stand up for myself instead of doing whatever is best for everyone else all the time? Then it makes me think of the rabbits in all those labs; they can’t stand up for themselves!
I know this is only the beginning of the thought-provoking topics this class will influence me to think about. I’m looking forward.