Against eating only dead animals

I try to spare sometime to study human food to figure out what I should and should not eat and make conscious choice about it. Why? Because I think I am privileged enough to do so; I have more options than other people and hence I am responsible of making the best choice out of several options that I have.

So, I do not like the idea of killing animals. This is one of the reasons for having less meat consumption. There are of course other reasons for it such as CO2 emission for processing meat in large scale.

Anyway, I want to focus on not killing animals now. One way to get away from killing is to eat the dead one already. But I am pretty sure this is not really a good idea because otherwise this beautiful idea would have worked out. And I am happy enough with the answer from Simon Bridge in an online forum.

I copy his answer below.

Most of the animals we eat are dead at the time of eating/cooking. “Aged” meat can be dead for quite a while. The exceptions iirc are some seafood. Oysters are traditionally consumed alive while lobsters are traditionally killed by plunging into boiling water as the first stage in cooking. That sort of thing.

Your father is talking about finding an already-dead animal, taking it home and cooking it. The trouble with scavenged prey is that you don’t know the circumstances that it died in – when we kill an animal we have some (with modern farming: lots of) control over the condition of the animal when it is killed. We also have certain knowledge of what it died of. Imagine an animal dies from disease, or from poisoning – is it a good idea to eat it?

Similarly – what sort of organism has taken up in the carcass while it was lying there?

It is technically possible to overcome objections by being careful in selecting the found-meat, as well as preparing it. .e. maybe you saw the animal keel over right in front of you? However, the risks are higher.

As for this approach to obtaining meat as an alternative to killing, you should be able to follow why it is a bad idea institutionally to wait around for an animal to die by itself before processing it for food. i.e. it won’t be in the farmer’s interest to keep the animal in good health.

However, I understand that it is legal in some US States to eat roadkill. Presumably it is not legal to serve it in restaurants though.


It is interesting how there are some exceptions indeed such as seafood and roadkill. I will look for more info later when I have more time. Moreover, since it is difficult to institutionalize this idea, then if I want to survive with this way of obtaining meat, I need to resolve a lot of technical difficulties in recognizing edible dead meat in the wild.


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