Cooking a Guinea Pig and Rabbit for Class Project Not a Crime in Ohio

A 16-year-old Ohio boy who skinned and cooked a guinea pig and a rabbit he bought at a pet store will not be charged with a crime after police in Thompson Township and the Geauga Humane Society decided he had not violated any laws.

The boy cooked the guinea pig and rabbit as a demonstration for his living skills class at Ledgemont High School.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, prosecutors declined to file charges after determining that it would be hard to sustain a claim that killing the animal was “unnecessary” as the boy and several classmates ate the cooked animal, and they could find no evidence that the animal had suffered unnecessarily wen the boy killed it.

Sharon Harvey, executive director of the Geauga Humane Society, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer,

From a standpoint of being able to prosecute, we could not find evidence to pursue a cruelty charge. Do we disapprove of what happened? Absolutely. But, sadly, what happened is not illegal.

Unless the school cafeteria at Ledgemore is vegan — and I’m guessing Ledgemore has not been above offering students hamburgers and hot dogs — I’m not sure why this case prompted such outrage.

Do people think that products like hamburgers,
hot dogs and chicken nuggets all come in the middle of the night from the meat fairy?


Cooking demo wasn’t a crime. John Horton, Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 28, 2005.

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