We are so used to hearing it… Exhibit A is bad for the environment so stop using it.
It is the dialectic which has dominated discussion of beef – cows are bad for the environment therefore we should not consume beef. The logic is not consuming beef leads to less cows being produced and thus less damage to the environment.
As Ecovores, we have no argument with the logic. But as Ecovores, we see more options.
For an Ecovore, the focus is on eating native animals that do not produce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and feral species. This post focuses on feral animals.
Feral animals are bad for the environment. In some cases, they produce GHG, but their lifestyle is destructive of the fragile environments in which they live. This can also apply to many native species, if they overpopulate, as overpopulation leads to overgrazing of the land, leading to degradation. Instances such as these reverse the above dialect, they are bad for environment and thus we should increase our consumption.
Increasing consumption of feral animals aims to reduce their numbers. Culling species such as camel, buffalo and wild boar present’s benefits to the environment and thus increasing there consumption is better for ecosystems. Many of these animals do not produce as much green house gases as do livestock such as cows and sheep, however from the point of an Ecovore, any emissions produced is irrelevant as they already exist and consumption of feral animals does not increase the populations of the species. In fact, it is the ultimate aim of Ecovore is to remove them from the environment.
The argument here is to swap meat, not to stop it. Reducing beef consumption and increasing consumption of feral animals is beneficial for the environment for two great reasons. Firstly, less cows would be produced as demand decreases and this leads to less green house gas emissions from livestock. Secondly, ecosystems are improved by declining numbers of pest species or overpopulated species, which are overgrazing their habitat. Most of the large feral populations are located in fragile environments, not suitable for mainstream agriculture or primary production. For overpopulated species, it is the aim of the Ecovore to sustainably manage local populations as an alternative to traditional beef farming, however whilst species are already overpopulated and there is an abundance of feral animals, consuming game meat is choice for the environment.
For Ecovores, we have a significant structural challenge to overcome in order to gain access to these feral animals. With the exception of Kangaroo (though Wild Duck, Rabbit and Boar and becoming more common) most of these animals are culled, but their meat is not being sold. So far, all the camel and buffalo I have located has been farmed – and this meat does not benefit the environment. The challenge is to create the mechanisms and the infrastructure, for these culled species to be commercialised, so that they can be purchased instead of farmed meats.
This topic is undoubtedly contentious, so please feel free to share your thoughts or questions by either commenting or by using the contact form here.
I Bought some Game Meat for Saturday night at Wangara Game & Poultry in Kensington. I bought a frozen wild rabbit and fresh Kangaroo Fillets. Wangara Game is a wholesaler to restaurants, meaning not only is it great quality, but it is really cheap!
They have a huge range of products and if you place an order over $160, they deliver for free. I recommend getting in with some friends and making an order regularly. In the past, I have mainly bought my Roo from supermarkets, but the meat from them was much better in quality.
Finally back in business after a long month (or so) of exams. Ecovore is going to go wild.
Looking forward to doing a guest post over at Eat. Drink. Better. and plenty of our own posts on Game Meats, recipes and suppliers. I finally have the time and I am keen to get on it. With any luck, Ecovore have some of its own guest posting – about sustainable fish and the environmental impact of pets (and mainly, their food).
Stay tuned folks, it’s bound to be tasty.
We are building up the pages on here. Trying to find good places to go which serve Eco-friendly food, such as game and vegetarian options. Also searching for some nice recipes, ideas for posts, events. You name it, we probably want to here about it.
It’s looking pretty bare, but we’ll build it up as we go.
If you have a second, send us through something… here.
Following up from this post on Food Choices, we have a graph!
This shows a breakdown of transport type and emission type associated with various food groups. It is interesting to note that Cereals and red meat have a similar amount of transport associated with their production, yet when analysing based on climate impact, Red Meat producing significantly more CO2 equivalent emissions (Green house gases) per household per year. The killer for Red meat is the combination of Methane (CH4) emissions and Nitrous Oxide (N2O). This is an important fact for the Ecovore to consider and the graph certainly helps to paint a better picture of it.
Dairy has very high emissions per dollar spent, however the climate impact is less per household, though still significantly higher than other food groups. We will post more on dairy soon!
Source: Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States, Environmental Science & Technology. Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott
Kangaroo is a great supplement for beef in food, which is environmentally friendly.. and just in case experimentation isn’t your style, we have a guide and some recipes for you.
Click here to download the Kangaroo Cookbook (cleverly titled ‘Roocipe’. It’s sure to be an essential ingredient for your kitchen.
As we find it, we will keep adding recipes and food information to the blog and hopefully end up with a worthwhile resource for all ecovores.
A cattle station in the Northern Territory has been handed over to its traditional indigenous owners for conservation. This is great news for both the environment and indigenous populations. Extra land for conservation is always good to see, though as an ecovore, this section sore particular interest:
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke is at Fish River Station today for the handover of the land.
He says feral animal management will be part of conservation work conducted by traditional owners.
“It has never been really heavily grazed commercially and the location just has not quite worked for high levels of grazing but there are some significant feral populations still there,” he said.
“There are more than 2,000 buffalo still there, more than 2,000 horses, cattle, and significant donkey and feral pig populations.”
Meat from these feral animals will hopefully end up in the hand of consumers as they are culled.
Watch video courtesy of the ABC 7.30 Report