Roadkill his sole diet

“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.”


Thanks to Kevin Kelly

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

6 Responses to Roadkill his sole diet

  1. How do you tell if its safe to eat road kill? I would imagine that after a period of time the meat is no longer fit for consumption. Any advice?

  2. Roadkill is a carnage, cooking and feeding on the victims is a macabre way of prolonging and enjoying it… He takes food away from the mouth of natural cleaners (crows, foxes…) On what grounds ? hard to understand.

  3. Well I've eaten a bit of roadkill. But not sure I fancy fox,mice,owl badger etc ?
    Phil – You basically want it as fresh as you can get it. So did you see it killed ? Is it still warm ? Was it there when you passed earlier. Then the older stuff – Has it got rigamortis, do its joints still move. Has it got maggots on it ? Does it smell bad ? Is it lying in the sun.
    Its basically trying to estimate when it died and how long its been there.
    Is it actually worth eating or is it too mashed up to deal with.
    I remember gutting a roadkill dear with a bunch of delinquent kids. These were kids who'd been kicked out of school. Various learning and behavioural problems. Attention deficit hyperactive disorders, antisocial behaviour problems and even tagged by the police so they could track them. Now I have never seen them so quiet and attentive ! How can an ADHD kid concentrate for an hour while we skin and gut a deer ? And butcher it up for a venison stew. It was quite a lesson. Meat without the supermarket packaging.

  4. When I lived in Colorado I heard that the meat from roadkilled deer was given to poor families. And here in New England a deer was hit in front of the historical museum where I volunteered just as we were hosting a Revolutionary War encampment. With permission from the proper state department it provided venison stew for dozens of volunteers and reenactors (many of them hunters and very good open-hearth cooks).

  5. Apparently many states passed laws re Roadkill Eats

    Under a roadkill bill passed overwhelmingly by the Legislature and signed by the governor, motorists who crash into the animals can now harvest the meat to eat.

    And it’s not as unusual as people might think. About 20 other states also allow people to take meat from animals killed by vehicles. Aficionados say roadkill can be high-quality, grass-fed grub.

    “Eating roadkill is healthier for the consumer than meat laden with antibiotics, hormones and growth stimulants, as most meat is today,” noted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.

    Washington state began allowing the salvaging of deer and elk carcasses a year ago. Pennsylvania might top the country in road kills, with Oregon wildlife officials telling lawmakers that the eastern state had over 126,000 vehicle-wildlife accidents in 2015.

    Pennsylvanians can take deer or turkeys that are killed on the road if they report the incidents to the commission within 24 hours, Lau said in a telephone interview.

    Oregon’s new law calls for the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules for the issuance of permits for the purpose of salvaging meat for human consumption from deer or elk that have been accidentally killed in a vehicle collision.

    The first permits are to be issued no later than Jan. 1, 2019. The antlers must be handed over to the state’s wildlife agency.

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