Environment Magazine

Eat a Feral a Week

Posted on the 22 March 2012 by Bradshaw @conservbytes
Eat a feral a week

© Y. Sugiura

Just a quick post this week about something I’ve been contemplating for a while.

What if every Australian pledged to eat a feral animal a week?

Yes, I know that it’s a bit out of the pitch, and I’m sure not everyone would do it. Nor would it be physically possible for one person to eat an entire camel, buffalo or deer in a week – but hopefully you get the picture.

Why propose this? Australia is quite over-run with feral animals. Some quick stats:

Now we have, of course, many other ferals (cats, rats, foxes, mice), but I don’t think too many people would want to eat them. I have personally eaten feral pigs, camels, buffalo, goats, and red, fallow and sambar deer, mostly from my own research trips or from friends who hunt.

Camel is delicious, if not a little tough (nothing a good marinade and tenderiser won’t fix), buffalo is fantastic, any sort of venison is wonderful, and pig, well, pig is divine with almost anything.

Feral animals cost Australia billions in damage each year, wreak havoc on our native ecosystems and cost millions more to control (largely unsuccessfully).

Sure, many small-scale industries exist to provide meat to commercial markets, but remoteness, hygiene and transport issues have meant that they’re largely specialised industries with little impact on our nation’s meat-consumption patterns.

Nonetheless, if we instilled the notion in your average Australian that it was his/her duty to eat more feral animals to do some environmental good, perhaps the increased demand would fuel more culling. A corollary would be that we’d need to eat fewer sheep and cattle, which improve our rangelands.

So, be a proud Australian and eat a feral a week!

CJA Bradshaw

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