Game Meat; Why It's A Game We Can't Afford To Play
Game meat is growing rapidly in popularity, as consumers clue onto the horrific cruelty and environmental destruction caused in animal agriculture. I completely understand the argument for eating game meat;
- It is wild, which means the animal hasn't had to suffer in a cage or a crowded shed for the duration of her/his life.
- It is free right up until their relatively quick death, which means no scary, often hot/freezing ride to the slaughter house with no food and having to witness to the smells and sounds of death of others before they are also killed.
- It is healthier, as the wild animal eats a natural diet, which means the animals hasn't consumed any antibiotics, other drugs or hormones and is probably in a much much more vital state of being.
- There is not the same detrimental environmental impact, as wild animals do not need huge amounts of water, or land to grow feed as is required for animal agriculture, nor is there the huge waste pollution caused from raising thousands of animals in the unnatural close proximity to each other.
If there were less than one billion of us on the planet, eating game meat would probably be the way to go. Wait a second, it was the way it went. Traditional people around the globe ate their meat from wild animals and they did it with a deep understanding of the delicate balance and relationship between the land and the people. Keeping in mind, they ate what they needed versus what they wanted and would never take more than the land could handle.
Fast forward to 2017 and our population is continuously exploding, with 7 billion people (plus) now sharing this life on planet earth. And we have this incredibly devastating situation, where hundreds of millions are starving, while the majority of rest of us are eating what ever we want with little regard to how it got to our plate and the effect it is having on our health and planet. Then there is a growing small percentage of folk trying to make conscious diet choices - around health, around animal welfare and around the environment, and many of these conscious eaters are choosing game meat for reasons I laid out. Eating game meat over factory farmed meat (where 80% of meat now comes from) has its merits.... but there is a catch. A catch so big I certainly can not overlook it.
Game meat is wild caught native animals including, but not in any means restricted to, kangaroo, emu and camel, rabbits, ducks, boars, crocodiles, buffalo, deer and moose....oh and giraffe, zebras and up until recently it was still legal to get yourself a lion steak ( and in Africa you still can)
Lions. We in the West freak out at the idea of eating the "National Geographic" wild beasts because of their beauty and, mostly because of their shrinking number. We know how valuable they are only because their existence is literally threatened to continue into the future, through a range of issues from habitat loss to hunting.
While there are many kangaroos and moose alive and well now, like anything in nature, the future is not guaranteed or predictable. Wild bison was once considered perfect game meat, and due to their large numbers was hunted for the meat and leather but the combination of effects such as loss of habitat, wasn't taken into consideration and we almost hunted them into extinction. This can be said for SO MANY ANIMALS - the koala is a perfect Australian example - now endangered.
Nature may not be predictable but history can repeat itself and if we don't learn from our mistakes then we already know how it will turn out! If we encourage more of the 7 billion people to eat game meat, ( especially if they eat game meat on the average of 3 meals a day) more wild animals will be killed, to the point of it being unsustainable. Despite "regulations", we can not control what happens in the wild regarding infections, droughts, habitat loss etc and how the combined effect can happen before we realise and it becomes to late.
Game meat puts a dollar sign on our wildlife's head and when something ( or someone) turns into a commodity then rules and regulations often bend to suit industry...because we still live in a world where money talks.
Personally, I know you can live a life without meat consumption. Hundreds of millions of people exist and thrive around the world on plant-based diets.
Unlike in history with the traditional people of the land, now we get to have the choice. We do NOT have to rely on the meat from our animals to feed off. And unlike the traditional people of the land, the industries that kill the wild animals, do not have the same understanding between the land and our need, nor the spiritual beliefs that tied them to living in harmony with the land - so please do not be fooled into thinking eating game meat is environmentally friendly. It is not.