40 miles west of Palm Beach, the wealthiest city in the state of Florida, lies a stretch of land where many live in dire poverty.
Each Fall, trucks drive up and down the miles of sugarcane fields that surround Pahokee and Belle Glade, Florida, while workers lean out the back of their vehicles and set the fields on fire with propane torches. The fires burn away the outer leaves surrounding the cane stalks, making it easier for the sugarcane to be collected. When the heat from the flames rises, boars, snakes, and rats barrel out, but it's the rabbits that have locals coming out in droves. Rabbit hunting is a long-time tradition in these neighboring cities, dating back to the early 1900’s. Locals run inches away from soaring fires, often in smoke and ash so dense it's hard to breathe or even see. Once they spot a rabbit running out of the field, they take off in pursuit of it. Running faster than you've ever seen someone run in your life, they chase it down and capture it; a feat of unparalleled athleticism. Weapons and ways to kill vary in the crop-fields from whacking the rabbits with a sugarcane shaft, to quickly twisting the necks, shooting them with a BB gun, or pounding them with a rock. After a long day in the fields, hunters string their rabbits along the handlebars of their bicycles, or stuff them in empty pillowcases and pedal home. Some will skin and cook the rabbits for dinner, while others head into town to staple their catches to a telephone pole, or hang them over shopping carts where they’ll sell for a couple dollars each.