Can Hunting and Eating Iguana Help Florida's Native Wildlife?

Perennial Plate/Video screen capture

From making Canada goose burgers to trapping and killing feral pigs, the Perennial Plate road trip has made eating invasive species a recurring theme.

But Mirra, the vegetarian half of the Perennial Plate team, has not been entirely convinced that animals deserve to die and be eaten just because they are becoming a nuisance to us humans—in fact she penned an excellent blog post exploring the moral gray areas around invasive species management and whether or not vegetarians should support the killing of certain species.

That debate gets kicked off again as the couple go on lizard patrol with George Cera, a man charged with controlling the some 10,000 iguanas that are now loose on the island of Boca Grande, Florida. As we have come to expect from the Perennial Plate, this is a thoughtful, beautifully filmed video that let's the viewer think for themselves. As Cera, the reluctant hunter, exclaims: "There is no such thing as a bad animal. They just do what they do. Usually, when they are causing a problem, it comes back to something humans have been doing in messing with the environment."

So is hunting and eating these non-natives a step toward restoring balance, or an exercise in finding scapegoats? You decide.

Tags: Animal Rights | Animals | Biodiversity | Conservation | Florida | United States | Vegetarian | video