When it comes to meat, green and ethical don’t always go together. Chicken is a case in point: it is often present in low-carbon menus but most of the birds you get are battery farmed and hence a firm no for the ethically minded. But kangaroo meat is one of those that check both the eco-friendly and the anti-animal-cruelty boxes.
Let’s start with the flatulence issue. While ruminants release large amounts of methane into the atmosphere as part of their digestive process, kangaroos emit negligible amounts of greenhouse gases. And there’s even more to please the environmentally conscious. Kangaroos consume significantly less water and food than cows and sheep, and they don’t require land to be cleared out for them.
Animal-rights purists may disagree with associating the words kangaroo harvest and ethics. Point taken. But even animal welfare groups in Australia agree that the method used to cull kangaroos in the country, a shot to the head, is humane. The marsupial is not in any distress when it dies and there is no unnecessary suffering.
Kangaroo harvest has long been in practice in Australia in order to control their population and preserve grazing land for livestock. But most roo meat ends up being wasted because only a small percentage of Australians eats it. You may worry that increased demand could mean that the country would start farming kangaroos. But even such a farm would have to be cruelty free to some extent. Kangaroos have a low stress threshold and need to be let to roam wild. If captured or handled, they may suffer from a condition called myopathy, which gives its meat a bad taste.
These are some of the reasons why kangatarianism, that is, following a diet excluding all meat except kangaroo, is slowly becoming all the rage amongst the semi-vegetarians of Australia. Other Aussies should join in too. If you are Down Under, make sure you replace those beef burgers with roo meat next time you invite your friends over for a barbie.