Road Kill On the Menu, Yummy!

Waste not, want not. Automologist MAC brings us news from the land of not so plenty after all. 

In the US State of Wyoming, there is a new delicacy on the menu. It is widely available, fresh and cheap, although it may be a little gamey. Last month, it became legal for Wyoming-ites to harvest roadkill if they hit it themselves or even if they just happen to spot the result of someone else’s collision. Of course, not all roadkill is fair game: Grizzly Bears and Wolves are not on the list and neither are other endangered species, and I presume humans are not covered in the permit that you are required to get either.

Wyoming is not the first US State to allow for the collection of roadkill. In fact, the North Western cowboy-loving state is somewhat late to the party. At least thirty other states have laws that permit the harvesting of roadkill; the states of the North West, such as Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming, have only recently gotten roadkill officially onto the menu. It is hard to really get a number on just how much roadkill is being eaten every year in the good ol’ US of A, but in Montana alone, they have already issued 1,000 permits to allow motorists to collect and eat the deer that they just run over.

Well, perhaps not this one…

I can just picture some of you turning green at the thought of serving a steak of venison (that’s deer meat to Americans) that you have just mown down in your SUV, but there are several benefits to doing so. If nothing else, the force of the impact will have tenderised the meat. But seriously now, roadkill is seen as a valuable source of protein to poor rural America. Hard to believe that in one of the richest countries in the world there are people who need to rely on roadkill.

Alaska actually distributes roadkill to charities and our barmy friends over at “People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals” aka PETA believe that roadkill is healthier and more ethical than taking a trip to your local butcher. In a lot of States, it is the responsibility of the local Department of Transport to clear potentially hazardous dead animals, which may take days, and thus allowing the public to take them away will save time and money and make the roads safer.

In Wyoming, if you collect roadkill, you also have to report the location of their find or indeed the accident. This information is collected and will show the traffic department where 15% or up to 6,000 accidents happen every year in Wyoming and thereafter allowing for measures to try and reduce this number.

Ah, we three Bare Bears.

Of course, not everyone is salivating over the prospect of free venison or Armadillo. There are those detractors who worry that people will end up eating rancid meat, but this is really is a case of buyer beware. More likely though, in most Americaland States, there are strict laws about when and how you can kill animals and this is seen as a possible way to circumvent those requirements.

There is a whole swag of cookbooks offering recipes for roadkill and ways to prepare a bumper-serving of Venison Fricassee or Goodyear-Armadillo Stew. Enjoy!

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