Road-kill sounds nauseating to most people I know. So unbelievably hillbilly. So extraordinarily redneck. Others may find it absolutely disgusting and even revolting.
I used to feel that way, but not anymore and I would like to tell you why.
First off, road kill is generally cleaner than your typical supermarket meat as long as it is fresh and butchered properly. Meat that you buy from the grocery is typically from animals that were raised on over-crowded and inhumane factory farms. (Please buy organic meat!)
Secondly, the meat is healthier.
Commercial meat contains antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids and other additives, whereas wild game is free of these substances. Also wild game feed on grasses the way nature intended. NOT corn and corn derived products to fatten them up. (Which also makes the meat itself leaner and healthier.)
Thirdly, most animals on the highway die quickly. No painful, frightened animals being led to slaughter after a miserable life.
Lastly, it is environmentally thrifty. It provides free food for those in need, and rather than let this go to waste, most states or municipalities maintain sign-up lists for their residents – every time a salvageable animal carcass is found, the person at the top of the list is notified and given the chance to come retrieve the game.
Almost 1.5 million deer are hit by vehicles each year in the USA.
In Illinois, A whitetail deer that is killed/injured as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle may be legally possessed by an individual if the following criteria are met:
1. The driver of a motor vehicle involved in a vehicle-deer collision has priority in possessing said deer. If the driver does not take possession of the deer before leaving the collision scene, any citizen of Illinois may possess and transport the deer.
2. There is no limit to the number of deer that may be possessed under these circumstances. Road kill deer may only be claimed by persons who are residents of Illinois, are not delinquent in child support payments and do not have their wildlife privileges suspended in any state. Individuals who claim a deer killed in a vehicle collision shall report the possession of the road kill deer by submitting a report to the IDNR within 24 hours by using the following link to the on-line Road Kill Deer Reporting Form or by telephoning the Department of Natural Resources no later than 4:30 p.m. on the next business day.
Butchering is left up to the recipient.
(PETA) wrote a tongue-in-cheek article referencing the phenomenon, including a description of road kill as “meat without murder” and a suggestion that “die-hard meat-eaters can help clear their consciences—and the streets—by eating road kill.”
Road kill stew. I’ll be serving it to my family tonight with my head held up high and no shame at all!
Here’s my recipe for venison stew:
2 pounds venison (cut in chunks)
8-10 organic carrots (sliced into bite sized pieces)
5-6 organic potatoes (peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 small organic onion (largely diced)
2-3 cloves fresh organic garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
1 cup flour
6-8 cups water
5-6 teaspoons organic beef base (the powder form)
¼ cup red wine or cooking sherry
Generous shakes of black pepper, marjoram, thyme, and onion powder
Soak the venison chunks in water and squeeze out excess blood. (Your stew will be a bit gamey tasting if you omit this step!
Add everything except the flour and 2 cups of the water to a large crock pot. Let simmer all day or overnight.
An hour before serving whisk the flour and reserved 2 cups water. Add to the stew, stirring occasionally. Allow to thicken.
Serve with a yummy home-made bread. (also available on this site.)
Note: This recipe is extremely low in fat due to the extra lean venison and no added butter or oil for the rue.