Local, free-range, organic... roadkill

Principle 12: Creatively use and respond to change


It's never good to see local wildlife struck by a vehicle on the side of the road. What's worse is seeing (and smelling) it rotting, breeding flies and fouling the water supply, not to mention the disrespect shown to the animal. I believe that, where possible and appropriate, road-kill should be butchered and eaten, roadkill cuisine as it is called. So, I called up a friend with the same values (previously a vegetarian for 13 years) and we went about the gruesome task of butchering the freshly killed kangaroo that I discovered just a couple of kilometers away.
It's one thing to believe that 'if you are going to eat meat then you should be able to butcher it yourself' and then another actually doing it. I've been part of the process a number of times now and still don't feel that I could take on the job (of a large animal) myself. Yet, I am becoming more comfortable with the process, and I feel good about being aware and involved. I also think that it's great that my son Kai knows that meat comes not from a packet, but from an animal. He's not comfortable about eating meat most of the time, and I think that's because he knows what's involved. He finds the process itself is curiously interesting though...
Kangaroo meat is seen as a more environmetally friendly alternative (in Australia) to eating beef or lamb, but eating our national icon may be unappealing to some, especially when it's picked up from the side of the road. It is however, a lean, highly nutritious meat that is high in quality protein and other important vitamins and minerals.

Butchering up road-kill kangaroo while Kai watches on
We roughly divied up the meat, with suitable scraps separated for my friends dog and the unused portions being composted. Once processed I got 4.5kg of meat which I packaged in single serving sizes for freezing in our tiny bar fridge. We cooked up the bones straight away and made a delicious roo and local grown vegie soup, which will last us a couple of days. The job took about half a day, the meat would be worth about A$50 (mince and chunks) if you bought it from a supermarket (but you can't buy bones / ribs there). I imagine that the meat will last us 2-3 months.

Kangaroo meat - 650g of bones for soup, 1kg of ribs for the bar-b-que, 2.3kg of meat pieces and 550g of lean minced roo.


Kristy said…
Can't say I've come across a roadkill dinner post before. That said as kids we had roo all the time and rabbit, and line caught fish. It's what there was and what we could afford.

Remembering, it might be 'new' to Westerners to eat roo and it was a staple food long before someone made it a national 'icon'. :)

Off to browse more of your blog.
Anonymous said…
sometimes i see dead kangaroos on marmion avenue but never butchered one

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