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September 14, 2009

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Mr Eugenides

Someone's going to need more server space...

James S

Brilliant.

"Animal rights campaigners tend to give roadkill the green light, including Peta, which deems roadkill meat acceptable fodder, as it's meat that hasn't come courtesy of the "barbaric" meat industry."

Some of the comments are pretty good too:

"Roadkill, to eat or not to eat, yet another sad sign of the times we live in. Creatures trying to survive in a planet that has one dominant species swarming all over it. We have taken over everything and claimed it as our own completely disregarding basic laws of nature. The future is most definitely bleak."

I though that *was* the law of nature?

I still like this one though from a reader agreeing with Madeleine Bunting:

"Ants behave in an extremely collective fashion. Each has no say in what happens, and it’s no problem for them, why should it be a problem for us?"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/23/brain-society-politics?commentpage=2

David

Yes, it may be hard to top the urging of Guardian readers to become more like ants by surrendering their outmoded delusions of independence.

Anna

I can't see eating burst hedgehogs catching on in the UK. But if it does we'll need more cars and road building to keep up with the demand.

KB Player

Is it so weird to eat roadkill? Fresh that is, not swarming with maggots. Someone I knew, an excellent cook, would pick up dead pheasants off the road and turn them into tasty meals. However, many people in our society are so urbanised they hate even been reminded of the animal nature of their food - will eat chicken nuggets, say, but not offal, and wince at seeing carcasses with the heads on, and will only eat pre-wrapped meat from supermarkets as it doesn't look so much like something that once had hooves or claws. This kind of hypocritical delicacy is very prevalent in the UK.

mlrosty

This guy likes a bit of roadkill:

"Eating roadkill is also an ethical exercise. Drennan describes himself as a vegetarian, saying he's got "issues" with animal husbandry, and won't eat creatures that are raised for slaughter. Ones killed by accident on our roads, though, are "just another resource". Foxes, he says, are best pot-roasted in red wine, with wild mushrooms. Badger, a more intense flavour, goes well in burgers. Pheasant and rabbit can be done any way you like. Together, mangled mammals and birds make up five per cent of his diet. "One of the few things that I tend to avoid are cats and dogs," he explains. "In theory, I'd have no problem with eating them. But they've always got name tags on their collars, and since I have two cats, it's a step too far."

http://www.wildmanwildfood.com/pages/INDEPENDENT.htm

David

KB,

“Is it so weird to eat roadkill? Fresh that is, not swarming with maggots.”

I’ve no particular objection to the consumption (by others) of roadkill per se and presumably there are parts of the world where fresh roadkill might include something exotic and substantial – intact moose, for instance. Something from which a decent stew might at least be salvaged. Sadly, British readers – at whom Siegle’s piece is chiefly aimed – will probably associate the term with humbler, less appetising fare. From my own travels, structurally intact pheasants and badgers are quite rare. I’d guess the UK’s “prolific roadkill consumers” are more likely to stumble across flattened squirrels or exploded magpies complete with tyre imprints.

Anna

I don't wince at carcasses and I've skinned a few rabbits but I do wince at chicken nuggets. Bleh. Toy food.

mlrosty

KB,

"Is it so weird to eat roadkill? Fresh that is, not swarming with maggots."

There's only one way to be sure roadkill is really fresh…

sk60

Mmm. Tyre imprints…

Mr Eugenides

I once sat through a meeting in Maine (though only in a guest capacity, sadly) at which the main item of business was the correct technique to adopt should a moose suddenly appear in your headlights when driving home along a rural road late at night.

The consensus was that braking hard, while obviously the natural reaction, was about the worst thing you could do, because it would bring the front end of the car down and propel the animal over your engine and through the windscreen. And wrenching the steering wheel was, of course, discouraged as well.

No, the advice was to maintain a steady speed and brace yourself...

James S

Here's another one from the comments:

"[Roadkill] is highly likely to be far far more ethical than any other source of protein that we have."

So ethically speaking roadkill beats cheese.

David

Mr E,

“I once sat through a meeting in Maine… at which the main item of business was the correct technique to adopt should a moose suddenly appear in your headlights when driving home along a rural road late at night.”

Well, I suppose that’s the thing. We don’t get many moose near Thompson Towers. Owls, yes. Moose, not so much. Out in Derbyshire, there are quite a few sheep that roam across the roads, apparently indifferent to oncoming traffic. But even if you got lucky and fancied some fresh, tenderised lamb, there’s still the question of how to get the damn thing home. (I’m assuming the car hasn’t been put out of action during the tenderising process.) Is it socially acceptable to head homewards with a dead sheep strapped to the roof of the car? Or should we stick to smaller, more discreet items – things that’ll fit in the glove compartment, away from prying eyes?

Chris S

Ah yes, the humane and ethical choice of roadkill. It's much more pleasant to know that the animal succumbed to a crushing injury, or had it's head stove in. Perhaps it even died instantly and didn't crawl around after it's hindquarters were smashed, writhing in agony waiting for the sweet release of death.

Much more ethical than a bolt to the back of the head.

Well, from what I hear, roadkill goes well with a nice glass of smug.

SG

> "[Roadkill] is highly likely to be far far more ethical than any other source of protein that we have."

> "So ethically speaking roadkill beats cheese."

Hear that? It's a vegetarian's head exploding.

Karen M

"Is it socially acceptable to head homewards with a dead sheep strapped to the roof of the car? Or should we stick to smaller, more discreet items – things that’ll fit in the glove compartment, away from prying eyes?"

You have to go out at night with a spade and a balaclava.

KB Player

The woman I knew who cooked pheasants had picked them up off country roads in the Scottish Borders. I suppose she would have baulked at scraping rats off streets by sink estates. I was cycling once through wooded landscape and passed a roe deer dead on the road. I didn't feel a great desire to strap it across the back of my cycle. The carcasse didn't say "venison" to me but "oh yuck".

George

Is this the continuation of the Zombie Flesh Eaters thread?

JuliaM

"From my own travels, structurally intact pheasants and badgers are quite rare."

And you've got to beat the amateur taxidermists to them...

JuliaM

"Hear that? It's a vegetarian's head exploding."

But the body's still intact, right?

...

What..?

JuliaM

"Out in Derbyshire, there are quite a few sheep that roam across the roads, apparently indifferent to oncoming traffic."

Better stay away from the calves, though, if they aren't out on their own:

http://markwadsworth.blogspot.com/2009/09/more-cow-attacks.html

Bubba Man

From my posting name I am sure you will be unsurprised that I have in-fact eaten road kill.
However, I only eat the road kill that I road-kill myself or that I have witnessed the event, as I at least know when it occurred.

Call me a red-necked barbarian if you'd like, but that venison tastes just fine, be it taken by a bumper or a bullet.

In one case I considered eating that dear quite just, as it had totaled my vehicle (I know drive something much more substantial).

Thank you for your attention.

-Bubba Man

Maurice

I didn't know that people in Kansas will be soon feeding the green lovers every where fresh road kill. That is great, just today the menu on my way to work would have been squirrel (4), possum (1), cat (1), coyote (2), deer (1), armadillo (1) and some creatures I couldn’t identify. Occasionally we have plenty of turkey, hawk, turtle, and even a wild chicken. Every day would be a new menu treat! Over 10,000 deer are road kill every year here, but in Michigan that’s 65,000, and North Carolina has at least 100 black bear dead on the road. Great pickin’

gavin

heard the latest,organic gardens by Dachau

TimT

Question: how do PETA justify animals killing and eating other animals? After all, many deaths by predator would be much crueller and more painful than death-by-human.

twolaneflash

We always stopped and drew a chalk line around all the roadkill on the way to town on Saturday morning, then we'd pick up all those without chalk outlines on the way home for Sunday dinner. Fresh meat! Remember, there's room for all God's creatures, right next to the mashed potatoes.

twolaneflash

Decades ago I studied vertebrate zoology under Dr. Charles Wharton, a noted environmentalist. On field trips, we would record data on roadkill and collect any specimens fresh enough to go in the night's roadkill stew. Eating it was crucial to passing the course. Dr. Wharton married one of his young graduate students, who later went to Cumberland Island, GA to do research. The locals named her Carrion Carol for her frequent use of roadkill for the dinner table. PBS made a tv special on Cumberland Island some years back in which Carol was featured riding a horse without saddle or bridle in the surf among the wild herd of horses. This story reminds me that I need to get Carol's recipe for raccoon kabob with wild mushrooms and seaweed. Mmmmm good.

JuliaM

"Question: how do PETA justify animals killing and eating other animals? After all, many deaths by predator would be much crueller and more painful than death-by-human."

Oh, believe it or not, that question has been troubling the minds of philosophers:

http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2009/08/predatory_animals_are_bad.php

AntiCitizenOne

JuliaM,
Wow, Someone is advocating eugenics for the entire worlds ecosystem!

Mark Wadsworth

You'll have to track down the CiF article on why we should stop using toilet paper and use water jets instead.

Anna

Mark,

"American taste for soft toilet roll 'worse than driving Hummers'. The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners… "I really do think it is overwhelmingly an American phenomenon," said Hershkowitz. "People just don't understand that softness equals ecological destruction."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/26/toilet-roll-america

Some classic Guardian comments too. Consumerism is worse than the war on terror, we need "draconian legislation"...

David

“Consumerism is worse than the war on terror, we need ‘draconian legislation’...”

Yes, as the piety escalates it all gets a bit “spank me harder.” Actually, toilet paper is a theme the Guardian returns to surprisingly often, usually while displaying a keen grasp of economics: “If everyone in the world used as much toilet paper as people in the UK, let alone Americans, there would not be a single tree left.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/04/stop-using-toilet-paper

Inevitably, some readers then start fretting about the environmental damage of heating enough water for all those extra toilet ablutions.

Wm T Sherman

Off topic:

Over on this side of the Atlantic, we are having a serious case of the Sixties. Any news over there about the latest march on Washington D.C.?

Re: Turlet paper. The answer for the committed environMentalist is to recycle. It goes in the curbside brown bin. Perhaps switch to a Roman Empire era type Sponge On A Stick (tm).

Anna

Wm T,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8252939.stm

Chris S

Toilet Paper? Bidets? Ablutions?

What kind of 20th century backwater do you people live in? You're supposed to use the three shells.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBI8uCKi2lI

Spiny Norman

"American taste for soft toilet roll 'worse than driving Hummers'. The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners…"

"Yes, as the piety escalates it all gets a bit “spank me harder.” Actually, toilet paper is a theme the Guardian returns to surprisingly often, usually while displaying a keen grasp of economics: “If everyone in the world used as much toilet paper as people in the UK, let alone Americans, there would not be a single tree left.”"

I wonder how many trees could be saved if the Grauniad permanently shut down their print edition.

wayne fontes

"Well, I suppose that’s the thing. We don’t get many moose near Thompson Towers. Owls, yes. Moose, not so much. Out in Derbyshire, there are quite a few sheep that roam across the roads, apparently indifferent to oncoming traffic. But even if you got lucky and fancied some fresh, tenderised lamb, there’s still the question of how to get the damn thing home. (I’m assuming the car hasn’t been put out of action during the tenderising process.) Is it socially acceptable to head homewards with a dead sheep strapped to the roof of the car? Or should we stick to smaller, more discreet items – things that’ll fit in the glove compartment, away from prying eyes?"

No shame in it David. In my neck of the woods we flaunt a stroke of good fortune like finding a nice fresh kill.

http://archive.perfectduluthday.com/images/yooper%20deer.jpg

David

Wayne,

See, that would attract attention round these parts.

rxc

Well, I used to live in West Virginia, where the state legislature got around to passing a law about 5 years ago legalizing the taking of roadkill for private consumption. I don't remember what triggered this, but we had so many deer that it was quite dangerous to drive around after dark at certain times of the year. Maybe someone decided to take home something he hit, and someone else from out of the area complained to the police.

Classic WV joke:

Q: Why is there no CSI WV?

A: No dental records.

Rob

I can guarantee that the closest Leo and Lucy have come to roadkill is running over the flattened bodies in their sports cars.

sackcloth and ashes

I've got this image in my mind of a Graun reader stopping off at a country road to pick up some 'ethical meat' - and then getting mown down by your typical rural driver (who does tend to drive Steve McQueen-style).

Fritz

Another entry for the Guardian competition, culled by James Taranto of the Wall Stree Journal's Best of the Web:
But a line in the Guardian piece unwittingly gives the lie to one of the commonest clichés about George W. Bush's foreign policy:

"In his own speech to the UN, Obama promised an end to the unilateralism marked by the previous Bush administration, an approach that saw US and Britain working in tandem."

Unilaterally working in tandem, eh? That makes as much sense as saying, "The pilot and copilot took a solo flight together."

Brucie

There's a line in 'That Old Ace in the Hole' by E Annie Proulx about a penitentiary chef's response to an unusual request.

'He asked for pheasant for his last meal before he went to the chair. The SoB got a cheeseburger like everybody else and if I'd had my way he'd have had a roadkill.'

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