I grew up in Springfield, Missouri, the Queen City of the Ozarks. This town of approximately 150,000 people and some educational institutions (my dad taught at Missouri State) provided a nice city upbringing for me. However, you didn't have to drive too far out of town to find a different world. The movie Winter's Bone was filmed about an hour away in the hollers and old-growth oak forests. The poor there survive like poor people everywhere; they do what they have to do, including hunting for game (and cooking meth as described in the flick). Below is a scene from the movie in which Jennifer Lawrence (in what I consider her best performance so far) teaches her younger siblings important survival skills:
Lucky for Ree Dolly, squirrels are pretty safe to eat; these rodents transmit very few diseases to humans. If she had settled for rabbit, there would be more significant risks. I know a couple who caught tularemia from skinning and dressing a rabbit. While this disease is treatable with antibiotics (unlike ebola), they did not have fun during their illness.
Nobody blamed them for hunting a rabbit and dressing it to eat (although their kids did tease them about their "road-kill" diet).
I know a lot of people who hunt game for fun rather than survival; this, too, is bush meat (even when you mount the head and hang it on the wall).
The main differences from Africa:
- We do not call our wilderness "bush" in North America
- The species that roam the woods and fields are different
Please do not judge those in Africa who eat what they kill; it's for survival.