Apart from the ball, even owls get kicked around in the football matches. Moreno, the footballer who committed the deed, is getting death threats.

Meanwhile, Moreno says he had been threatened since the incident. “There have been all kinds of things … on the telephone, everything,” he declared in a television interview. “It wasn’t my intention to hurt the animal. It’s very difficult for me and my family who are in Panama and are afraid about all this.”

This is a plot for an excellent B-grade horror film – The Hooting Nightmare. Footballer kicks owl to death. The spirit of owl comes back hovering above the footballer. Every time he tries to kick the ball, the ghostly owl goes hoot in his ear. The footballer misses his kick. He loses his spot in the team. Enter the shaman who will find out an ancient ritual that requires the footballer to be kicked by 25 owls. What happens next we need to see.

Meanwhile the Great American Hunter is on a mission against African lions.

Between 1999 and 2008, 64% of the 5,663 lions that were killed in the African wild for sport ended up being shipped to America, it said. It also said the numbers had risen sharply in those 10 years, with more than twice as many lions taken as trophies by US hunters in 2008 than in 1999. In addition to personal trophies, Americans are also the world’s biggest buyers of lion carcasses and body parts, including claws, skulls, bones and penises. In the same years, the US imported 63% of the 2,715 lion specimens put up for sale.

Of course, there is a flip side to hunting.

“If you remove hunting, the very real risk is that you force African governments to generate revenue from that land and the obvious thing is cattle and crops which just wipe out habitats,” said Hunter.

So hunter / gatherer vs agriculture / pasture.

Meanwhile, back in India, avoid salmon, especially the much hyped Norwegian Salmon. I saw it on the menu at a place the other day – Rs. 600 bucks for some handful of shavings. Ostensibly writing about the budget, Vikram Doctor however makes an important recommendation which may of more consequence than Pranab babu’s. He says that the smoked salmon available in restaurants in India are sick.

Nearly all this salmon is farmed and while it is seen as a premium product here in India, in the West it is not. Fish farmed in big sea cages live in utterly unnatural conditions for the wide sea-roaming salmon; as a result they are often sick, and for that reason are pumped with antibiotics. But perhaps the biggest problem with farmed salmon is that because it’s easily available and can be sold with a premium tag, it stops Indian chefs from using more of the abundant and excellent range of fish caught on our shores. I would love to see more local fish on restaurant menus, but increasingly it’s all salmon or Chilean seabass (overfished).

Now for lunch.
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