From trapping and killing feral pigs to making Canadian goose burgers, the Perennial Plate has explored the issue of eating invasive species many times before. For the camera-wielding, vegetarian half of the team it has not always been easy to watch her carnivorous, blood-thirsty partner tucking into an animal that is deemed unwanted.
In a blistering, wonderfully written and honestly agnostic post, Mirra unloads about the myriad of moral and practical issues surrounding the consumption of invasive species, with particular attention to the dilemma facing vegetarians:
For Vegetarians whose sole purpose of their food choice is sustainability and protecting the environment, eating invasive species is about as sustainable as you can get. But for other vegetarians (like myself) who don’t want to kill animals for their own consumption, or for any reason… there’s got to be another answer to the problem. I mean, come on — invasive species were introduced to this country at no fault of their own, but rather due to the irresponsible actions of humans (ie. feral pigs were brought here by the Spanish in the 1700s). So the current state of killing as many as possible seems unfair. But do we have any other options to manage these numbers?
From immunocontraception vaccines to tighter controls on the transport of invasive species there are, says Mirra, long term options for stabilizing populations. But in the meantime we will all be contributing to the killing of certain invasives, either directly by eating them, or by supporting the farmers who have to keep them in check.
As Mirra points out though, we are a little selective about what we class as invasive. Corn, and people, seem exempt from irradication. For now. Do head over to Perennial Plate to read Invading America for more on this pressing issue.