please, help me to understand the meaning of the sentence "eating local means shoot your own squirrels." Speaker is from Arkansas. Are there any similar sayings?

Here's the context:

“The Fiveashes have lived in Toad Suck for as long as anyone can remember,” Priscilla said. “They work hard, go to church, and send their kids to school. They shop at Dollar Tree because they don’t want to get dressed up for Walmart. They think eating local means shoot your own squirrels. And when my kin start talking, you’ll wish they came with subtitles.

Lisa Kleypas "Crystal Cove"

1 Answer 1


It's not a well known saying. It is a piece of hyperbole the author is using to describe the family, and you should read it in context.

  • They think Walmart (a common chain of supermarkets) is such a posh place that you would need to get dressed up to go there.
  • They talk with such a local dialect that you need subtitles.

These jokes describe a particular type of provincial family: Hillbillies and rednecks.

There is an expression "to eat local" which usually means "buy food that has been produced on local farms rather than imported from foreign countries". The joke is that this family are so provincial that they think it means "eating the food you find in your own garden, especially squirrels" In case it's not obvious, squirrel is not commonly eaten in the USA. It would be a very poor meat.

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