You’ve probably eaten roadkill

Don't panic -- it's ethical!

Topics: Vegetarianism and veganism, Ethical eating, Food, ice cream, U.S. Highways, ,

You've probably eaten roadkill Watch out! (Credit: Tom Reichner/Shutterstock)

If you think about it, the truly unenthical thing is not eating roadkill — you’re letting a lot of fresh meat go to waste. And if you’d really rather not think about it, then you probably shouldn’t read Brendan Buhler’s highly entertaining feature in Modern Farmer on the ins and outs of U.S. roadkill law. Especially not the kicker, in which Buhler guarantees that you’ll never be able to eat marshmallows or ice cream again without, well, thinking about it:

Some cities either have their own animal control agencies or hire animal shelters to collect carcasses. The carcasses are then either fed to rescued carnivores or taken to a rendering plant, from which they eventually exit as ingredients for pet food, glue, soap, pharmaceuticals and gelatin.

So for those on the fence (or outright repelled) but [sic] the concept, consider this: because gelatin ends up in everything from marshmallows to gummy bears to ice cream, there’s a good chance that you’ve already consumed, legally, some accidental meat.



You Might Also Like

Theoretically, Buhler makes a good case for eating dead animals off the side of the road: “The animal was not raised for meat, it was not killed for meat; it is just simply and accidentally meat — manna from minivans.” He calculates that if we salvaged just a third of the deer hit by U.S. cars, we’d  have 20 million pounds of venison for the taking. And according to the roadkill aficionados he spoke with, it’s basically as safe as anything that was killed on purpose. Naturally, animals killed on cold days are the best choice, but “one can tell at glance” if the meat is spoiled.

Unless you live in California, Texas or Washington, where concerns over car poaching have led the practice to be outlawed, you’re free to scavenge (so long as you follow state-specific regulations). The only thing neither legal nor ethical is to intentionally hit an animal with your car for the purposes of serving it for dinner. Not even if you have a hunting license.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    jkrebs04, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 1

    Niagara Falls, U.S./Canada

    akvarog, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 2

    Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

    iMAGICations, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 3

    Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.

    jhgraphicsusa, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 4

    Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

    Robert R., DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 5

    Colosseum, Rome, Italy

    Anythingoes, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 6

    Taj Mahal, Agra, India

    Sergio Coelho, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 7

    Siena Cathedral, Siena, Italy

    Anythingoes, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 8

    Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    iMAGICations,DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 9

    Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

    iMAGICations, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 10

    Lost City of Petra, Jordan

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...