Eating Aliens: Are Invasive Species Ethical Food?

Image credit: The Guardian
New Market for Invasive Species
The above photo may not look too appetising, but I have friends in the UK who won a blind bake-off in their local pub with Gray Squirrel Pasty. (OK - no jokes about English food please!) But it seems my friends may not be alone. According to the Guardian, more and more folks in the UK are getting a taste for invasive species as the ultimate in ethical meat. It's free range, natural, and you are helping to restore balance in native ecosystems. Click below the fold to find out what other aliens are gracing the dinner tables of UK gourmands. First we should note that not everyone thinks this is a good idea. Fellow TreeHugger John Laumer commented on a similar story back in 2008, arguing for the illegalization of market hunting. (It is already illegal in the US). And then of course there is the thorny ethical question of who gets to decide what is an alien species, and what is simply a case of ecosystems adjusting to new conditions. After all, efforts to control invasive species have not always gone as planned.

But given that conservation agencies are already making efforts to eradicate or control certain species, there is undoubtedly a good argument for getting a yield out of the process as they do so. Aside from the ever so cute but annoying gray squirrel, here's what else is on the menu:

- American Signal crayfish
- New Zealand flat (Tiostrea lutaria) oysters
- Muntjac deer
- Wild Boar
- Chinese mitten crab
- Ruddy duck

Alien pie anyone?

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Fish | Local Food | United Kingdom