Okay, I know what you’re thinking: poor old skippy, one minute he’s jumping around the countryside, having a great time reproducing at a rate that the environment can’t sustain, and the next minute he’s $4.95/kg in the supermarket.
Well this storm in a teacup started when Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Tony Burke, recently visited China to encourage locals to nibble on some Kangaroo. Australia has been exporting Kangaroo meat and products since the 1950s to places like France and Germany – who seem to love the taste – why not China? In fact, the back of the roo currently contributes around 200 million Aussie dollars to the economy.
The promotion caused offense to Australia’s Animal Liberation, a left wing group which exposes animal cruelty, like eating kangaroos. So much so that Mark Pearson, the executive director of Animal Liberation, is to visit China and give them a report which backs his arguments that kangaroos shouldn’t be eaten.
Who Pearson is going to give the report to in Beijing or who will actually care is unclear. Mr Pearson claims the report, called “A Shot in the Dark”, written by kangaroo ecologist Dror Ben-Ami, deals not only with animal welfare but hygiene and sustainability issues with harvesting kangaroos. No doubt Pearson will play the fear factor to whoever listens to him in China – what if, be careful, wild game, and so on.
Personally, I find kangaroo delicious – a bit gamey – but quite tender. I recently bought some kangaroo jerky back to China and gave it to our Ayi. She thought it was ‘hao chi’ (good food).
My tastes aside kangaroo meat is low in fat, high in protein, and quite healthy. Even those hippies from Greenpeace endorse eating kangaroo. The group recently released a report which claims Aussies can dramatically reduce their carbon footprint by eating less beef and more of the local wildlife.
It seems kangaroos, well, fart less which causes less greenhouse emissions. They also do less damage to the topsoil, require less food, and are better suited to Australia’s drought-prone outback. And while kangaroos are rather cute there are simply too many of them in certain areas for the local wildlife and bush to sustain their numbers.
On the food streets in Shanghai and the wet markets its easy to see that almost anything goes. I say, why not a kanga banga on the barbie?