|Could your local A-road replace the
A squashed animal on the roadside
is a common sight on country roads. Less common, is the sight of the
same animal on a dinner plate. Join Inside Out's Russell Labey as
he gets a culinary lesson with a difference!
Retired civil servant, Arthur Boyt is an animal lover
and enthusiastic conservationist, but one look in his freezer would make
you think otherwise.
Arthur's freezer is a positive menagerie of native wildlife
including pheasant, deer and fox and he is fast running out of space.
"The freezer is filling up," admits Arthur.
"I can pass things by without regret."
All creatures great and small
Arthur's passion for animals began 50 years ago when
he and his twin brother would roam country estates and free animals from
Boyt has an unusual taste in food
But Arthur's passion was not only confined to living
"We used to cycle to my sister's in Norwich, a trip
of 110 miles.
"That would result in quite a bag of pheasants and
hares," remembers Arthur.
"My sister always looked forward to our coming to
replenish her larder."
With an enthusiasm for wildlife, Arthur originally considered
becoming a gamekeeper, but the cruelty he associates with blood sports
brought about a change of heart.
"When I came across the gamekeeper's gibbet with
15 owls hanging from it, it opened my eyes to the abhorrent side of shooting,"
In their natural wrappers
|"It's not killing them for the
sake of eating them. They have been accidentally killed
are organic and in their natural wrappers."|
As a vegetarian, Arthur's wife Sue doesn't share his
taste in meat - let alone roadkill - but she agrees with Arthur that it's
a natural and environmentally friendly way to dispose of animal carcasses.
With a degree in biology, Arthur can confidently identify
fresh meat from a diseased carcass. He cooks the meat at a high temperature
for a long time, ensuring it is safe to eat.
"For years I've lived off roadkill and my own vegetables,"
But roadkill is not to everyone's taste.
"And a nice Chianti"
In the UK in particular, there is a stigma attached to
the eating of alternative meat.
This roe deer was knocked down near Callington|
Just a few years ago it was hoped ostrich meat would
nestle next to chicken thighs in every local supermarket - it hardly took
Yet a trip across the channel finds frog's legs and snails
on the menu, whilst those "down under" regularly throw a "Skippy"
steak on the barbie.
But it is the eating of domestic animals that causes
particular controversy in western society - the thought of Tiddles, or
Fido served up on a dinner plate is not too popular.
In Asia, however, dog is considered something of a delicacy
and Arthur insists he can see why.
"I have had dog, they are tasty, they border on
lamb," he says.
Skeletons in the cupboard
Arthur's interest in animals goes further than flavour
- he keeps a cabinet full of specimens including skulls and a rat's carcass.
skunk skull is one of Arthur's rarer finds from America|
He has also set up various sanctuaries for birds, mice
and voles in his garden.
Despite the fact that some of Arthur's meals may be on
the endangered list, eating roadkill is perfectly legal and as Arthur
would argue, environmentally sound.
Some of Arthur's more unusual meals have included a greater
horseshoe bat and otter.
For our Inside Out presenter Russell Labey, Arthur serves
up roasted roe deer and badger stew, that despite reservations, Russell
admits "tastes just like braising steak."
So as you drive to your supermarket or butcher for tonight's
dinner, keep your eyes peeled and your mind open and you may not have
to drive that far!