Eating Wild Animals

a Spring

Leanne and Dustin invited us for supper last night and I was delighted. I did not have to cook!!!!! Usually I make the Sunday dinner, but, Dustin had gone fishing the day before and had caught a fish so it was fish for supper, wild, BC Spring salmon!!! It was spectacular! And it is so good for us. We even got to take some home, so Norm has salmon sandwiches for lunch today! Because of our friends and living on an island in the pacific (a cold one, but still an island) we do get to eat a lot more free ($-wise and in spirit) fish. Springs now, sockeye and pinks later then smoked salmon in the fall from my friends at work! I guess I do like fish, some fish. But…am I one of those people decimating the wild animals stocks around the world? After all, fish are animals aren’t they?

I got to thinking. I know, it can be dangerous, me thinking. How much wild food do I eat and what have I eaten that is/was wild? I can’t count bison, which I like and is readily available in our local stores, because it is ranched. I like that it is ranched so we DO have more of it but does it change the taste?

A Muskox

I am not, by nature (pun in tended), an adventurous eater but I have had a few wild things to eat. I lived in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories for two years and got to have lots of different things. I’ve had Arctic char  and it was very nice, a lot like light salmon. I tried muktuk at the Northern Summer Games. It’s whale blubber and was very, very gross. I had my first (but not my last) moose up there and I still get given the odd roast, it is lean and wonderful. Deer lots of deer in lots of ways:Bambi balls, also know as MEAT balls are wonderful and deer stew is a staple where I work. Elk is lean and richer than beef. I’ve had it in stew, sausage and once, at a truck stop in Ellensburg, an elk and black bear  hamburger. OMG that one was amazing. I lived on caribou burgers and chips and gravy in the Eskimo Inn in high school. And once, at a special dinner at the high school with almost the whole town and many Ottawa fed-types, muskox (kinda stringy and beef-like but I just got a small taste), ptarmigan (like partridge), reindeer (like caribou) and pemmican which is not a wild animal but does have bear fat and wild berries in it. Pemmican is kind of like a grassroots power bars!

herring roe on kelp

Herring roe on kelp

Since I’ve been working for the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board, I have been honoured to have fresh and wild crabs, oysters, clams but I could/would not eat the herring roe on kelp or sea urchins. The fish heads were daunting, too. But ducks were OK. Wild ducks taste different from farmed ducks. They have a gamy taste. I don’t know how to describe it but once you’ve experienced it you will use that term.

Salmon Berries

I like wild herbs, fruits and vegetables. We’ve all done some type of berry picking with our ice cream buckets and hockey sticks to pull the blackberry canes down within reach. I like salmon berries, blueberries (from coast to coast), and wild strawberries are seriously the best tasting berry you will ever experience. Ask any deer. Which brings us back to wild food.

I like eating all kinds of food and if I can go into the forest, ocean or field and find it, it would be Ok with me. I’m not so good at the idea of hunting but I will share bounty that has been harvested for food and not for sport. I actually believe that if you are going to go hunting then you should arm the game, too. I don’t begrudge the odd hunter to a bear or cougar, just leave the hikers alone. OK? So, I guess I will keep eating wild animals and thank the spirits and Powers in charge for their generosity and make sure we don’t take the last ones.

Thanks for listening. ;D Diane

~ by 1fatgirlshrinking - Diane Kirby on June 11, 2012.

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