English taxidermist Jonathan McGowan has made roadkill his sole diet for the past 30 years. At the age of 14, he tried a dead adder and while it didn’t taste very good, it made him curious to try other roadkill finds.
The taxidermist lists fox, venison and deer among his favourite meats – but he has eaten everything the countryside has to offer over the years.
With thousands of animals being found dead at the roadside every year, Mr McGowan has varied if – on the face of it – slightly unedifying pickings.
He has eaten mice, moles, hedeghogs, squirrels, rats, foxes, badgers, hares, rabbits, deer, stoats, weasels, polecats, otters, wildcats, pheasants, finches, thrushes, ducks, geese, pigeons, owls, crows, gulls, blackbirds and cormorants.
He says many animals taste much better than people would expect.
McGowan gives lectures to schools, colleges and societies about natural history and specifically about his unique diet. He also throws roadkill dinner parties for friends who either think it’s “brilliant” or “cruel, unhygienic and macabre”. Everything on the menu is roadkill, not hunted by McGowan, and he feels is a choice “rooted in respect for the environment”.
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