Roadkill Eater: If this man invites you for dinner… Run away.

This is Jonathan McGowan. He eats Road Kill. Not for a living, but for living…

“There was a lot of roadkill in the lanes around our house while I was growing up. I’d sometimes take the bodies home and study them in the shed. I wanted to know everything about their biology, inside and out. When I was 14, I started to question our attitude to eating animals. Living on a farm, I knew how commercial meat was reared; I’d seen broiler chickens piled on top of each other, rotten, deformed and dying. The animals I found had led free lives and were incredibly fresh – yet I was expected to leave them in the road to rot. When I found a dead rabbit not long afterwards, I decided to cook and eat it.

I waited until my parents were out, then cut the rabbit’s back leg meat into slivers, put them in a frying pan with some butter and ate them with a slice of bread. That first meal, eaten in secret, was thrilling. I could taste the fields and woodlands in the meat. I felt as if I had done something wild and natural.”

What a rebel. Like many coming of age stories, this behaviour continued into adulthood, and became a defining feature…

“Since leaving home at 18, my occasional habit has become regular practice. I go out searching for roadkill once or twice a week. The early morning is the best – a lot of animals are nocturnal and get hit at night. Rabbits, badgers and pheasants are my most common finds. Rabbit is actually quite bland. Fox is far tastier; there’s never any fat on it, and it’s subtle, with a lovely texture, firm but soft. It’s much more versatile than beef, and has a salty, mineral taste rather like gammon. Frogs and toads taste like chicken and are great in stir-fries. Rat, which is nice and salty like pork, is good in a stir-fry, too – I’ll throw in celery, onion, peppers and, in autumn, wild mushrooms I’ve collected. Badger is not nice and hedgehog is hideous.”

Just how desperate would you have to be to try this even once…

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.