Just yesterday I read a story on The Atlantic website about a practice I knew very little about. At the beginning of the article I felt a little queasy and at its conclusion, quite frankly, I felt the same way—but at least I wasn’t ignorant to it.

Have you heard about the concept of salvage? It is the practice of eating roadkill. For people who don’t know better, like myself, we might question why the “l” is in the word to begin with. To be honest, when I think of roadkill, the visions of racoon carcasses discarded on the side of a dusty road swarming with birds and bugs on a hot July day come to mind. You mean people want to eat that? Bon appétit.

This photo, which was taken by Ryan Bell of Biographic, shows a man dragging a roadkill deer across the street to his car.

But that’s not really how it is. Most people who take advantage of salvage are harvesting freshly dead deer that meet an untimely demise shortly after coming into contact with an automobile. It has become a sought-after food source. Here in our state of Washington, salvage has been legal since 2016 and apparently you would think there was a five-second rule from the point that a deer drops dead because they don’t stay on the side of the road for long.

It all still is a little tough for me to stomach. I don’t particularly like deer meat to begin with and now you are going to tell me that my venison made it to my plate courtesy of blunt force trauma from an SUV? I guess I am just conditioned to think the deer I eat must have suffered acute led poisoning before falling over in the woods.

Roadkill just has a negative connotation. Seriously, can a word be more appalling? But kudos to the many people who can look past preconceived notions and embrace salvage. Sure, I might poke jokes, but these state programs really do serve multiple valuable purposes. They get carcasses off the road and provide food to folks who need it. No matter whether my stomach turns or not, I can’t argue with that win-win. Don’t Blink.

3 thoughts on “Salvage

  1. Not for me, and I have eaten game my entire life. I could be drawn this way in the colder months, but the thought of bloodshot meat from a critter that I have no idea how long has been down just doesn’t work.

    • Our thinking is the exact same! In fact, Sidney thinks the same way too. We had a lively conversation about salvage in the car last night.

  2. Pingback: Swatting | Don't Blink

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