Margit Christenson for YES! Magazine.
Apologies to Norman Rockwell
Here's the punchline: Philanthropy, good intentions and a kind heart will always put you in tyranny's stew pot.
Here's the story: Early in 2007 German farmer Karl Szmolinsky sold 12 of his prize giant rabbits to the North Korean government with the aim of setting up a breeding program to alleviate famine. The rabbits averaged 22 pounds, with ears up to 8 inches long. That's 15 pounds of meat per rabbit. He was supposed to travel there in April to help set up the breeding farm but received a call from officials in North Korea canceling the trip. Since then Szmolinsky has complained to the press that his prize breeding rabbits were eaten at Kim Jong-Il's birthday banquet on February 16. “North Korea won't be getting any more rabbits from me,” he told the press. Some in the media were suspicious of the plan from the beginning, pointing out that it takes two pounds of food a day to feed these rabbits. That's twice as much as the North Korean government distributes to its people for survival.