Sunday, December 27, 2009


Bushmeat - the meat of terrestrial wild animals killed and eaten for subsistence - is the focus of a gruesome contest of survival...between those in tropical America, Asia, and Africa who want to butcher the animals for food and profit and those worldwide who want to save the same animals from extinction. The Bushmeat Crisis Task Force describes the issue as follows:

"Commercial, illegal and unsustainable hunting for the meat of wild animals is causing widespread local extinctions in Asia and West Africa. It is a crisis because of rapid expansion to countries and species which were previously not at risk, largely due to an increase in commercial logging, with an infrastructure of roads and trucks that links forests and hunters to cities and consumers."

Bushmeat includes the meat of elephants, hippopotamus, zebras, duikers (forest antelopes), bush pig, pangolin, porcupine, and small monkeys, but is often associated with apes (specifically the gorilla, chimpanzee, and bonobo). Besides conservation, another reason the avoid the meat of wild animals is the threat of contracting a zoonotic disease, which this website warns about as it points out that Nairobi butchers are selling bushmeat disguised as beef. That was one of the dangers cited in the news this month that a New York resident has been sentenced for smuggling smoked monkey meat into the United States from her native Liberia. Bushmeat has in fact made its way to the public market in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and even Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This post was sparked by the news that a man in China has eaten what may have been the last wild Indochina tiger in that country.

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