Eating Koala for Dinner Isn't as Bad as It Sounds


braised koalaI just got back from Texas, where no one bats an eye at eating meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While this might be a shock to the system of my California foodie friends back home, I was basically raised on the cow. Needless to say I'll be on a meat detox once I'm back to the crunchy granola state.

I don't feel the need to berate said Texans and their varieties of meats, but one traveler certainly slammed the local eating customs while in China. An Australian on the road saw a cage of koala bears for sale, for pets or meat, and was way upset. Of course he was from Australia, where they worship those little adorable furry bear-like creatures even though they are reportedly mean as hell. So you can see why the Aussie was angry enough to post his findings about the Internet and chastise the Chinese market for selling these things to be cooked up for dinner.

Yet I can't help but think that he's a hypocrite, like the rest of us.

I know, I know. Eating cute and adorable animals is wrong. I've stood up for the dog on occasion, and just because koalas are rumoured to be nasty animals, is no reason to eat 'em up. But I do wonder how these lines were drawn, when, and by whom. After all, rabbits are pretty cute and you can domesticate them. Yet you'll find them on many a seasonal, local, menu served alongside kale. Substitute guinea pig on that menu and there will be an outcry.

Since I don't eat rabbit (or guinea pig), this doesn't make sense to me. But I do eat cow, pig, and most birds. So how can I tell you that chowing down on koala is bad? Just like this: Chowing down on koala is bad.

There's no way this discussion can be logically concluded, unless you're willing to concede that eating all meat is bad. Which is what a huge group of people already do. Therefore, vegetarians: Is eating a koala worse than eating a chicken? I'll let you decide the answer to this dilemma that can get culturally insensitive, way fast.


Image via Rennett Stowe/Flickr

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Spark... Sparklecoon

Koalas are a protected species. It's be equivalent to someone trying to eat a Panda or a Bald Eagle.

ChicH... ChicHippie

Koala doesn't appeal to me (threatened or not). I love duck and my husband thinks that's terrible .. ah perspective.

cocob... cocobeannns

I don't get why humans want to eat every animal under the sun. Aren't cows, chikens, and pigs enough? The thought of someone eating a Koala bear is sickening.

Lucre... LucretiaMcEvil

Koala doesn't even look tasty.

Bertha21 Bertha21

Endangered species aside, I don't think it's bad to eat any animal. I would NEVER eat one but the only meats I eat are from pigs, cows, chickens and seafood. 

Doomy234 Doomy234

This really doesnt surprise me. You can find just about any animal on earth sold as food, pets, medicine or aphrodisiacs in Chinese markets.

Tigers are protected species too, but this doesnt mean that someone cant make a pretty penny selling the pelts and grinding the bones to be drunk in teas or snorted like a cocaine Viagra. Same goes for elephants and rhinos murdered for their ivory.

If you can imagine it, its being sold in markets in foreign countries.

nonmember avatar chadfreeman

Actually, guinea pigs are a popular cuisine in some parts of South America, and our #1 fast food restaurant would give Hindus a collective heart attack. In fact, if I ever make it down there, cuy is one of the first things I want to try.

I don't know if I am just missing the "don't eat cute things" gene, but, in my opinion, if it is born and bred for the purpose of eating, or the situation calls for it, what is the problem? As long as it tastes good, I don't discriminate (barring torturous practices, like fois gras, and as tasty as it is, I try to avoid veal).

That being said, I agree that, because it is a protected species, it should not be sold at all, let alone for consumption.

Leele... Leelee1008

awww poor little koala, no I so dont want to eat one, I limit myself to cows, pigs, chicken and turkey and that is it, and I dont want to think about eatting them either b/c I feel bad but I do love me some meat.

babyb... babybirch

This is probably the most intelligent article on the Stir I've read today and I'm glad you asked the vegetarians' perspective on the matter . Here's mine .

What makes it okay to eat a pig, a cow, or a chicken but not a dog, horse, cat, or koala ? Eating a cow is the same as eating a horse, yet the majority of Americans would be outraged at the latter and not think twice about the former .

Obviously, eating a koala is worse than eating a chicken, but only because it is an endangered species to to habitat destruction . There's not a lot of these little guys left and I'd hate to see them wiped off the earth because people had some strange compulsion to eat them for whatever reson . But, as far as I'm concerned, eating meat is wrong, period . Animals suffer and feel pain, just as we do . To me, they are living, breathing, beautiful, wonderful, amazing creations - whether they're a cow, a pig, a dog, a cat, a bald eagle, a buffalo, whatever . I, personally, could never justify taking the lives of another sentitent being due to my own personal selfishness . There are no exceptions, in my opinion .

dixie... dixiegurl223626

I couldnt eat a koala. I eat chicken, pork, and beef. I dont eat deer, rabbit or duck. I guess it depends on the person though

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