Is Australia just roo-less in confidence? by Mattie Mould

Posted on November 25, 2011

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All Aussies claim to live up to the land-loving, tanned, hardened image the world holds of us, but are we really? Is it land-loving to continually rebuff the idea of eating kangaroo meat?

The sunburnt country.

We’ve all seen it, lying on the supermarket shelves. It looks like any other meat that we would buy for a Tuesday night meal but still, after a few moments of contemplation, we move on to the more familiar options of beef or lamb.

Even though it is proven that kangaroo meat is better for you (being lower in fat and higher in protein) and even though we know it is ecologically responsible to eat kangaroo meat rather than to simply cull these animals to make room for cattle (cattle that incidentally is not suited to the arid outback), sales of kangaroo meat have barely risen over the years.

It comes down to a matter of ownership. As kangaroos can jump any sheep-restraining fence and bound across any cattle-grid, how can anyone make a profit off this carefree animal? Tagging would have no effect, as this would bring up the problem of finding the animals again. And selling what you kill could also bring up questions of whose land they started on. It’s a problem that has held back the sale of kangaroo meat.

Qantas...this is how much Aussies love their roos.

With this problem at the heart of the issue, there have been no advertising campaigns emphasizing the importance of eating kangaroo, and therefore we continue to walk right by the kangaroo meat shelf on our shopping trips.

There he is...

It’s because of these ownership issues that every kangaroo you can buy at the supermarket was a wild, free-range animal. Which means it is extremely healthy and led a very happy life. There is also no waste because the meat and the hide are usable and are sold by commercial hunters. It also helps farmers of crops who are always assuring us that kangaroos are a pest because they eat harvestable food. That’s right, the kangaroo you would be eating is fed on some of Australia’s best produce – mmm that tastes good.

The thing that initially held me back from Kangaroo consumption was the idea of eating Skippy, or the idea of eating Splodge (Blinky Bill’s friend). It isn’t pleasant to think about it this way, and I must admit the first mouthful had me feeling very guilty. Then I remembered about all the other characters that we eat on a daily basis. Mary had a little lamb? – Key word there being HAD. What about Jack’s cow that he sold for magic beans, he sold that cow and we ate it, no worries. We eat Gemima Puddle Duck. We even eat Thumper (Bambi’s rabbit friend). And as for Chicken Licken…well, he really had it coming.

Classy bit of kangaroo boxing.

Now, I’m not trying to turn everyone vegetarian by going through this, but you must admit that there is no logical reason to avoid eating kangaroo meat. And I must tell you Skippy does taste wonderful (I’ve even eaten him in sushi!).

Buck up Australia and do the country, the roos, and yourself a favour; have a taste of the other other red meat.

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Posted in: Animals, Food, Opinion