At the turn of the century, as people moved into more urban areas, raising small animals became a fad. You can find many gems on Google Books regarding raising quail, chickens, rabbits and other small game.
Surprisingly, raising guinea pigs (also called cavy and cuy) became something of a trend, albeit short-lived, during this era. Particularly for meat, as the animals are extremely disease resistant and virtually free to feed.
For food purposes Guinea Pigs are admirable, although not many are eaten in this country at the present time. However, many of the newspapers and magazines have run articles suggesting that they be raised for this purpose and there is really no reason why they should not be. The United States Government indorses them as food animals and advises that they be used in this connection. In a few years we will possibly see Guinea Pigs sold in the stores as rabbits and poultry are now. Certainly no animal could be cleaner and being a vegetarian exclusively, its flesh is of the best. They can be prepared just as a rabbit or squirrel. In soups, stews, pies, or roasted, broiled or baked the young Cavy is equal to any other animal. For this purpose the animal should be about one-half grown.
Cavy remains a delicacy in South American countries such as Peru where cavy originated, although their breeds are much larger and more suitable for eating than the tiny pets that are common in other areas.