Eating old, dead animals.

I was wondering, if someone likes to eat meat, but hates the idea of killing live animals, is it OK to eat the meat of an animal like a chicken, cow, duck, pig etc., after its natural death? Or does youthful animals mean better meat?


What did your old chicken, cow, duck, pig, etc. die from?

Don’t think it would be very wise to eat a pig that had died from cholera. Nor a cow that had died from hoof and mouth disease.

I know there’s a book out there somewhere on cooking and eating roadkill…
The practice of killing meat animals when they are young is mainly due to the pursuit of profit. The longer you keep an animal before slaughter, the higher your overhead and the lower your profit.

There’s no single answer to this question, because there’s a great diversity of opinion in vegetarianism.

I used to be a “free range only” meat eater. In all practical terms this meant I was a vegetarian unless I was the person who had sourced the meat. At that time I would also have eaten an animal that had died naturally (though not of disease. As gluteus maximus implies, roadkill would have been OK [in theory… ;)]).

My brother, however, doesn’t eat anything animal at all.

I also had a similar question I called the field of meat dilemma - if we could grow a cow muscle culture in a field that didn’t involve suffering, death, pain, or sentience, why wouldn’t a vegetarian eat it? When I was more strict about what I ate, I believe I would have. I don’t believe my brother would, though.

My brother’s rule is: "Nothing that had a face."

The book is called

By Peterson (I just lost his initials.)

Here’s the link .

Roadkill cookbook, huh? Several years ago I hit a large deer at about 50 mph on a rural southern Illinois highway. Lost a full 50% of the fiberglass front end of my car and two of four headlights, as well as bending the radiator support, etc. There was blood smeared all over the crushed fender and hood. A cop came by, and floored me with, “Do you want to keep it?” “Yeah, I like my car very much and I think I’ll try to fix it, thanks.” Then I realized he was talking about the deer. People actually do that? I guess so, since when I brought my parents and the towtruck back to the scene about an hour later, the animal (which was surely dead) was gone.

Yuck. I hope they had fun picking out all the glass and plastic pieces (there was no trace of my headlights left on the car or on the road). Yech.

This is false. The reason animals are harvested when young is because young meat is more tender and better-tasting, and therefore more marketable. I’ll get msrexrabbit in here to explain more, as she is an agricultural animal-science major.

Usually the age at which an animal is harvested is based on customer’s taste preferences. If there is no market for the meat why bother raising the animal for meat? Despite this there are still more factors contributing to the decision of when harvesting should accure.
taste factors:
-sexual maturity: many people dislike the taste of a sexually mature male animal. For this reasons animals like chickens are usually harvested before sexual maturity and larger livestock like sheep and cattle are castrated so as to never reach sexual maturity.
-age: as an animal gets older its flavor changes. Usually progresses to a “gamey” flavor. In the United states people tend to prefer “lamb” while other countries prefer “Mutton”. Both products come from sheep but indicate a different age at harvesting. An much older animal also tends to be leaner and tougher.
-feed: if you finish a steer out feeding it grains it will reach market weight at a younger age than if you left it out on the field and sold as a grass feed steer. Again there is a taste difference. Some find it economical to keep the animal longer and feed it on the cheaper range land and take the lower market price for the animal later on.

Thank you msrexrabbit!

Are there any species at all that are harvested based on time of rearing cost vs. productive meat weight, or is it entirely market driven?

Heh. Corndog Man wants to know about eating questionable meat. I love this place.

The simple answer is that both are factors along with a boat load of other factors that go into a ranchers decision to chose to raise animals for meat. Its your generic cost benefit ratio. Production costs vs market value of product. Every factor of production has its own market and can possibly have a more productive use in another industry and you have to make efficent use of your resources to make it in any business. Feed, labor, season, land, customer preference etc. are all factors that can effect production costs or market value of a product.

So clams are okay, then?

msrexrabbit - exactly.

Q.E.D. - once a cow or pig or chicken or whatever weighs as much as it’s gonna, why would you keep it around feeding it and paying vet bills and risking the chance that it would - if it was a cow, pigs are too smart - fall into a hole, break it’s leg, and them stumble around and die the pond and rot for six days until you find it and have to move all the other cows away from the pond and keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not going to die from drinking dead cow funk in the pond…

Eh? I said it has to do with marketability. If older animals’ meat was more marketable and profitable, you bet they would keep them around to age them. I think you totally misread my post or at least the intent behind it.

Actually we tend to harvest animals before they reach their maximum weight. There is usually a set prefered market weight which is usually below the weight an animal is capable of reaching. When they are young the feed to gain ratio is large but as an animal gets older more of the food goes towards maintinance and less to gain. Unfortunately bigger does not always mean better for a rancher. For some species odd sized carcasses(larger or smaller than the norm) are discounted.

Quote Larry Mudd
Heh. Corndog Man wants to know about eating questionable meat. I love this place.

Yeah me too.

Only here would someone want to go back to prehistoric times and eat what they had, emphasis HAD, to eat.
Thousands of years have gone by and man has honed his skills until the food he eats is generally
safe and nutrichous(sp).

Double yuck.

… safe and nutritious ( I looked it up) and, at least in this country, plentiful.

[homer] hmmmmm questionable meat…arghhhhh[/homer]