Back in the Stone Age, the average meat-eater was slimmer and trimmer than the average meat-eater today. Before there were QFCs and Safeways, cavemen and cavewomen couldn't just stroll into the meat department at the supermarket to pick up a choice cut. No, Mr. and Mrs. Caveman had to CATCH something, KILL IT, and COOK IT before they could sit down and EAT IT! Mr. and Mrs. Caveman were fit because going out for dinner meant chasing large animals around savannas, or stalking small animals through the bush. All this chasing and stalking burned more calories before a single meal than most modern carnivores burn in a week at the gym.Mr. and Mrs. Caveman wouldn't know what to make of modern carnivores going out for dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Modern Carnivore sit on their fat, greasy asses in dimly lit restaurants, ordering cuts from animals most couldn't pick out of a lineup, let alone pick off with a spear. In addition to being fatter and lazier than Mr. and Mrs. Caveman, Mr. and Mrs. Modern Carnivore are also keenly hypocritical, keeping some animals as pets, while happily sending other animals off to be slaughtered by poorly paid illegal immigrants.

But just because you live in an urban area doesn't mean you can't know the calorie-burning joy and satisfaction of CATCHING IT, KILLING IT, and COOKING IT before EATING IT. Forget that step class, Mr. Modern Carnivore! Get off that treadmill, Mrs. Modern Carnivore! And throw away that Thighmaster! Your friends at The Stranger have assembled a step-by-step guide to hunting in the urban jungle. Just follow our four easy steps -- CATCH, KILL, COOK, EAT -- and you'll quickly connect with your inner caveman or cavewoman while staying effortlessly slim and trim. Have a good workout, and... bon appétit!

CATCH: Live lobsters can be found at many area QFCs, the Seattle Aquarium, and the Mutual Fish Company, 2535 Rainier Ave S, 322-4368. Since buying a lobster in a grocery store doesn't burn many calories, we suggest you run all the way home.

KILL & COOK: Lobsters are one of those rare animals that are killed and cooked at the same time. Keep your live lobster in a box in your fridge. If your lobster is room temperature when it's time for cookin', he may put up a fight. When you're ready to eat, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop your lobster into the boiling water head first. Do NOT drop your lobster in tail first -- he'll jump right out of the pot, and he'll be pissed. Boil the lobster until he's red and dead, about five minutes. After cooking, cut open his stomach with a strong knife and scrape out the internal organs.

EAT: Serve with melted butter. Delicious!

CATCH: Rabbits are easy to find -- but hard to catch. Feel the pounds melt away as you chase rabbits around graveyards, unincorporated areas, and the Woodland Park Zoo. Rabbits can also be found in most area pet shops. We recommend Denny's Pet World, 12534 120th Ave NE in the Totem Lake Mall, 425-821-3800.

KILL: It's best to shoot a rabbit right through the head. If your rabbit is small, you can also wring its neck. To skin your rabbit, cut off the feet at the first joint, then remove the head. Slit the stomach from the crotch to neck, and carefully remove its entrails. Cut into pieces.

COOK: Melt bacon fat in a frying pan. When it's sizzling, arrange your rabbit pieces in the pan. Allow to brown, adding salt, pepper, parsley, two small onions, and bacon. When your rabbit is browned, pour enough water into the pan to cover the rabbit. Put a lid on the pan and simmer until tender. About 35 minutes.

EAT: Serve with gravy. Delicious!

CATCH: We recommend Liem's Aquarium and Bird Shop, 511A Maynard Ave S, 624-0537, in the International District. Liem's is basically a food store disguised as a pet shop, but play along. Tell Liem you want a chicken as a pet for your niece, then run all the way home.

KILL: Chop off its head with a cleaver, allowing the chicken to run around your apartment. Quickly dip the limp chicken in boiling water to remove feathers. Make a slit from between its breasts to the bottom of the bird. Remove its entrails. Dismember.

COOK: Fill a pan with mashed potatoes and butter. Layer in cream, celery, dried cherries, and ribbons of chicken skin. Set chicken breasts on top of chicken skin, cover, and bake.

EAT: Serve with asparagus. Delicious!

CATCH: Cats are easier to find than rabbits, and slightly easier to catch than chickens. There are doubtless a few strays in your neighborhood ready for the Heavyside Layer (a.k.a. kitty heaven) sung about in the hit musical Cats. If you don't have the heart to kill what could be someone's beloved pet, you can "adopt" a cat at Paws Adoption Center, 8503 Greenwood Ave N, 782-1700.

KILL: Shoot through head or wring neck, being careful of claws. To drain blood, hang by ankles over a sink or a hole in the ground and slit throat. Skin and dismember.

COOK: Wash your cat, then soak it in tepid water for 10 minutes. Place the cat in boiling water for 10 minutes to loosen its skin (remove skin the same way you would a rabbit's). Cool and cut into pieces. Dip each piece in egg, then dredge through bread crumbs. Sauté in lard until tender.

EAT: Serve with a nice merlot. Delicious!

CATCH: Of-leash areas in Seattle Public Parks are a good place to find dogs and get a little exercise. If money is no object, the Humane Society of King County (13212 SE Eastgate Way in Bellevue, 425-641-0080) sells dogs for $55.

KILL: Depending on the size of the dog, you can wring its neck, shoot it through the head, or run over it with a van. Drain its blood as you would a cat's, and dismember as you would a rabbit.

COOK: Dog, a popular dish in China, is very versatile. To stir-fry dog, heat a small amount of oil in a wok. Cut dog into small cubes, then place in wok and brown evenly. When dog is brown, add chopped broccoli, snap peas, carrots, and soy sauce. Cover and let steam.

EAT: Serve with rice wine. Delicious!

CATCH: Again, the petting area at the Woodland Park Zoo is a good place to start. Scaling the fence at the zoo with a goat under each arm will burn calories -- but it might also attract unwanted attention from the police.

KILL: The number one rule when it comes to butchering livestock is the bigger the animal, the bigger the mess. If you have to butcher a goat in an apartment, do it in the bathtub. A goat should be shot through the back of the head, as the front of a goat's head is too hard to take a bullet. Skin and dismember.

COOK: Cut goat's ribs into two racks, rub with salt and pepper. Put rack in shallow baking pan and bake at high temperature for 30 minutes. Drain fat. Put ribs in pan, meaty side down, and cover with BBQ sauce. Bake for two hours at lower temperature.

EAT: Serve with beer. Delicious!

CATCH: Your best bet is the Marysville Livestock Auction, 15714 Smoky Point Blvd, Arlington, WA, 360-659-5063. The auction takes place every Tuesday, and pigs are usually available. For a good workout, pull a 200-pound pig all the way to Seattle in a wagon.

KILL: Shoot with a .22, right between the eyes. Slit throat while pig's heart is still beating, so that the heart will pump out the blood. There will be a LOT of blood. Butchering pigs is an outdoor sport. Skin and dismember.

COOK: Chop your pig up into pork chops. Place chops in a baking pan with a slice of canned pineapple on top of each chop. Sprinkle diced onions over chops, salt and pepper, then bake at a high temperature for one and a half hours.

EAT: Serve with Singapore Slings. Delicious!

CATCH: Many farmers leave their cows unattended for hours in large fields. Cows also sleep soundly. If you're feeling daring, go for a drive, find a cow, and butcher it right on the spot. If you don't want to risk being shot to death by a furious farmer, cows can be purchased at the Enumclaw Sales Pavilion, 22712 436th Ave, in Enumclaw, WA, 360-825-3151. Sales take place every Saturday.

KILL: Again, best done out in a field somewhere, but considering the size of this animal, cow butchering might best be left to a professional (check your phone book).

COOK: Carve off a nice juicy steak, grill for two minutes on each side, then place a tablespoon of whipped butter on top of the steak. Allow to melt, and sprinkle with chives.

EAT: Serve with broccoli to cleanse the bowels. Delicious!

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