Animals that we don't eat

There a lot of them, but some of the ones I can think of are:

Giraffe
Horse (perhaps those two fall into the same category?)
Monkey
Shrew
Platypus
Bat
Llama
Donkey
Is it because someone tried them and they taste bad? Because we regard them as cute? Because some people have them as pets? (That one really makes no sense to me because I’ve been owning hundreds of tropical fish since I was eight and fish is still my favorite food.) I don’t really want to eat bat, but if people had been eating bats since the dawn of time, I’m sure I would think nothing of it. Why are cow, chicken, pig, and the more common types of tropical fish thought of as the meat that we all eat?

And what’s scrod?

Horses, Bats, and Monkeys are eaten regularly.

Horses are indeed eaten.

As I’ve mentioned many times on the Board, anthropologist Marvin Harris wrote an entire book, Good to Eat (aka The Sacred Cow and the Abominable Pig ) on what people do and do not eat. There’s an entire chapter on Horse. Even if you don’t buy his conclusions or his research strategy, there’s lots of raw data in there.

One tenet he has is that people tend not to eat food that requires a huge amount of work to gather. People DO eat bats, mice, guinea pigs, and insects, especially when there’s nothing else around. But it’s easier to li;; one big animal (pig, say).
Another thing is that people don’y generally eat a lot of the animals that are large, not kept in huge numbers, and they want to keep breeding. So not a lot of llamas and donkeys get killed. But the Engish raised a LOT of sheep for the wool, so mutton ended up on their menu.

Everything has been eaten by someone somewhere.

There are reasons why particular foods aren’t considered “good to eat” in certain societies. Check out Marvin Harris’s “Good to Eat.”

Define “we”.

Although, I’m sure someone, somewhere has eaten every animal, I don’t think people regularly eat carnivores.
I’m not sure where that idea came from… Maybe I dreamed it.

Marvin Harris has said that it’s not common … mostly because carnivores are a very inefficient source of calories – far more go in than come out. However, I believe that pre-Columbian Mexico only had turkeyfowl and dogs as significant sources of non-human flesh, so it was more common there for dogs to be eaten.

Carnivorous mammals taste weird, IMHO. You can eat them, but I choose not to.
Of course, carnivorous reptiles and fish are a different story.

I have often wondered why we eat goose, turkey, chicken, and pheasant, but you never see roast swan on the menu.

Scrod is young cod or haddock.

I think bobotheoptimist is probably correct about carnivorous mammals. I have never indulged, but I have read many references to them not tasting so good.

Never?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4361079.stm

Sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie for all I know, but I anit eatin it to find out.

Carnivorous mammals, maybe, but we eat lots of carnivorous fish. And snakes, too.

The coastal polar people (Eskimos) get a lot of their calories from aquatic mammals (or they used to, when they lived a more traditional lifestyle), and those animals are carnivores. That’s one exception I can think of. But mainly there are just a lot more grazers (prey animals) than carnivores on land.

Carnivorous mammals certainly are eaten by humans. Any restaurant that claims to serve wild game will have bear on the menu. 'Possum is often eaten. Folks eat dog and cat in some societies. Where seals are available, they are often food.

We’ve all heard stories of tribes where, to pass into manhood, a boy must kill a lion. If there’s anything to that, the people of the tribe surely ate the lions.

I have personally eaten meat from three of the animals on that list, and ate at a restaurant in St. Petersburg that had lynx on the menu. People will eat anything made out of protein.

Swans IME cost much more (alive) than the others.

Swans are an endangered or protected species in a lot of places, so they’re not easy to come by. People do eat them, though.

I have eaten ostrich, as well as an ostrich-egg omelette. (Not at the same time, though.)

I haven’t had horse, but I’ve had zebra. Served in a nice restaurant in Tanzania.

Bear, as mentioned earlier, is certainly eaten in the U.S. (although one could argue that bears don’t count, being omnivores). Dogs are regularly consumed in other parts of the world.

I think carnivorous mammals haven’t caught on as regular fare is that they’re more expensive to farm. You not only have to raise them, but raise their food, too.

As for non-mammalian carnivores, I’ve had alligator, rattlesnake, and too many species of fish to keep track of.

I imagine no one has eaten Invisible Wombat.

What about stuff that humans don’t generally come in contact with? Tube worms and other super deep sea creatures. I would mention giant squid, but I’m almost positive I saw a discovery channel show that said a guy did try it and it tasted like ass.

Theproblem with thisthrea dis thatpeople areicnfusing two very different cultures: Hunter Gatherers and agriculturalists.

HGs ate anything that moved too slowly. They had no particular preference for herbivores over carnvivores and regularly ate invertebrates such as termites and and erathworms.

Agriculturalists OTOH always seem to institute dietary taboos concenring animals. These often include a taboo against eating carnivores but also inevitably include a lot of other nonsense such as not eating bats in April.

The reason for this seems simple enough. If a HG could catch a cat then it was just as efficient to eat a cat as it was to eat a rabbit. Once people became agriculturalists however that all changed. Farming cats for food is incredibly wasteful and so was dicouraged because it reduced the total amount of food the community could produce. But people being what they are they also tried to find some greater pattern in these taboos to porve that thy were “natural” and very soon we had the ridiculous situation where all animals without cloven hooved and horns were taboo despite camels and being far more efficent than cattle in most environments.