Jonathan McGowan has an interesting taste in meat

Owl curry, adder with butter and stir-fried craneflies! Meet the man who has survived on a diet of ROADKILL for 30 years

Rat stir fries and owl curries hardly sound like the stuff you would serve your friends for dinner.

But surprisingly, Jonathan McGowan's exotic roadkill dishes are a big hit with his guests.

The 44-year-old bachelor has lived on a diet of roadkill for the past 30 years to avoid buying meat from the supermarket.

He has shunned pre-packaged meats and instead dined on mice, moles, hedgehogs, pigeons, crows and gulls.

The taxidermist from Bournemouth, Dorset, never kills the animals himself but eats only what he finds at the roadside or in woodland.

Mr McGowan first got a taste for roadkill at the age of 14 when he cooked a dead adder that he had found.

He said: 'The adder didn't actually taste very nice - a bit like bacon rind. But it had piqued my curiosity and I wondered what else I could eat and what it would taste like.'

After leaving sixth form college he lived alone and turned to roadkill to save some money on his weekly food bills.

He said: 'From a young age I was always interested in natural history and being brought up amongst the farming, hunting and shooting communities of the Dorset countryside meant I was right in the middle of everything.

'Everywhere I looked there were dead animals; fish that had been caught, pheasants that had been shot and animals that had been run over in the road so naturally I became drawn to nature and how it worked.

'I used to cut up dead animals to see their insides and when I did all I could see was fresh, organic meat, better than the kind I had seen in the supermarkets. So I never saw a problem with cooking and eating it.'

Mr McGowan insisted it was better to eat roadkill than meat from shops because of the way it is produced.

He said: 'I guess at the age of 14 I just wanted to be different. But even then I understood that what I was doing was better than eating meat in the shops because of how it was produced.

'There was a broiler production unit close to where I was living where there was always three layers of chickens - a dead, rotting layer at the bottom, a squashed layer in the middle and a layer at the top where they could barely move.

'I saw how dirty farm animals were and how unhealthy they were. I was also used to going to the cattle market where the treatment of the animals by the farmers was grotesque. I wasn't happy about what I saw at all.'

Mr McGowan, who gives presentations in schools and colleges, has long extolled the virtues of his diet to friends who have been surprisingly open to the idea of roadkill dinner parties.

His owl curries are often popular, as are his rat stir fries.

Another speciality is pan-fried craneflies, served with olive oil, celery and raisins.

Mr McGowan said: 'It's a bit like a Waldorf salad, only with daddy-long-legs. I don't eat the legs though, that would be weird.

'My friends all think it is great, especially if they get to try some. Fox is often a favourite too, as is rabbit.

'They can see it's good meat and that it's healthy eating, although I think a lot of them are put off the idea of picking up dead animals themselves and having to prepare them.

'It's not something everyone can do. I have grown up around nature and know just by looking how an animal has died and how long it has been there.

'I am careful, obviously, not to eat anything that I don't think is fresh and if I don't know how an animal has died I will perform an autopsy on it first.

'I found a raven recently that had been poisoned, probably with strychnine, and that is something that other people would probably not think to look out for.

'I do have to be careful, but I have never been sick from anything I have ever eaten.'
(I'm missing Blackleaf's posts)
Very interesting. An excellently healthy diet.
Quote: Originally Posted by AndemView Post

(I'm missing Blackleaf's posts)

Ditto. Where did he go?
#3  Top Rated Post
Shouldn't this be merged with the "Food is getting really expensive" thread? Might save some people a lot of money.

Unfortunately, in BC we are not allowed to take home road kill deer, elk or moose. Used to be able to feed it to your dogs at least, but not any more. If you don't have a tag, you could lose your house.
I knew a guy who had a trout farm. The wardens would give him road kill that he ground up and feed to his trout. Now they just throw the carcass in the dump or leave it for the wildlife to clean up.

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