HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Consuming Carnivores

jksterling Nov 10, 2008 04:16 PM

People, including myself, seem to be a bit naturally squeamish about eating fellow carnivores. While I understand that tuna and other fish are carnivorous they eat other fish, which isn't quite the same. I'm talking about eating alligators, bears, dogs, lions (which I've seen offered). Does anyone know of any science out there and that discusses the problem with eating within ones own station of the food chain? Or does anyone know of anyone who particularly enjoys eating such creatures?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. gini RE: jksterling Nov 11, 2008 05:00 AM

    Do you have an issue eating chickens? Because they eat meat.

    1. s
      swsidejim RE: jksterling Nov 11, 2008 05:15 AM

      I have no issue eating or trying any of the things you mentioned, other than dogs, and house cats. I eat alligator regularly, and enjoy shark as well.

      No science involved for me, if it tastes good I eat it, I have no conscience when it comes to that.

      1. Sooeygun RE: jksterling Nov 11, 2008 05:30 AM

        Well, to start, we are not carnivores, we are omnivores. I can't think of any carnivore outside of fish that I have ever eaten, not out of squeamishness, but just lack of opportunity. I have had bear, but they are not carnivores either. They eat berries and such.

        Oh, I just remembered, I have tried seal. And didn't like it. I didn't like the fishy flavour.

        1. n
          Nyleve RE: jksterling Nov 11, 2008 06:12 AM

          My son the biologist sent me a text message a few months ago that sure sat me down. It read: "I just ate lynx"

          I freaked, of course.

          Turns out he knows someone who runs a trap line out in deepest darkest Alberta and, after skinning the lynx, they decided it would be wasteful not to eat it. So he marinated it and cooked in on the grill. He said it was ok but he's not planning to do it again.

          1. Sam Fujisaka RE: jksterling Nov 11, 2008 06:56 AM

            Alligator (a carnivore) and bear (omnivore) are quite good. Dog is not that great. Have never eaten any kind of cat.

            1. chowser RE: jksterling Nov 11, 2008 07:54 AM

              I was wondering this and my friend and I decided it came down to farming. It was easier to raise a herd of herbivores than a herd of carnivores that would eat you back. Pity the caveman who decided he wanted to raise lions. As with vegetables, we eat what our ancestors did, for the most part. And, as Sooeygun pointed out, they're not our fellow carnivores, unless you exclusively eat meat. And, some cultures do eat dog, small ones, that aren't likely to try to eat them.

              1. Lemon Curry RE: jksterling Nov 12, 2008 04:43 AM

                Raising carnivores is also more feed-intensive than raising herbivores: instead of feeding on relatively plentiful vegetation, they have to be fed on the animals which eat the vegetation and then concentrate those calories into meat. So, overall, you get a smaller mass of meat at the end with the carnivores then if you were just eating the herbivores. This inefficiency could be one reason the practice of raising carnivores for food never really took off.

                1. a
                  Alan408 RE: jksterling Nov 12, 2008 11:53 AM

                  Does anyone know of any science out there and that discusses the problem with eating within ones own station of the food chain?

                  I think I understand your question, try googling Chronic Wasting Disease, Prions.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Alan408
                    JungMann RE: Alan408 Nov 13, 2008 08:05 AM

                    I recall that in studying the food chain, foodstuffs at the lowest levels (plants, fungi, etc) had the highest nutritional value, being chock full of essential nutrients. Going up the food chain, each consumer processes these minerals and vitamins, leaving behind meat with less nutritional value than the food it consumed, with carnivores yielding the least nutritional value. Were we to subsist solely on a diet of carnivore meat, we would likely suffer from malnourishment.

                    1. re: JungMann
                      Sam Fujisaka RE: JungMann Nov 13, 2008 08:10 AM

                      Actually, for the most part nutrients get concentrated as you move up the food chain. Human populations that subsist on meat alone (e.g., the traditional Inuit) did just fine.

                  2. Sam Fujisaka RE: jksterling Nov 13, 2008 04:33 AM

                    Matter of taste. Imagine - some hounds don't even like range fed beef and say it tastes gamey!! Other than gators, carnivore meat just doesn't taste that good.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                      Hue RE: Sam Fujisaka Nov 13, 2008 09:22 AM

                      General question...now many farmers feed pigs "slop" that can be waste from many sources..I remember the "pig man" scavenging the edible waste from the mess hall when I worked for Uncle Sam.
                      If a pig is eating beef garbage does that make it a carnivores? and if they are eating pork garbage are they cannibals??

                      1. re: Hue
                        Humbucker RE: Hue Nov 13, 2008 09:28 AM

                        Pigs are omnivorous. Also, I may be wrong, but I believe a lot of industrial agriculture gets (or got) fed "itself", not just pigs.

                    2. s
                      Sinicle RE: jksterling Nov 13, 2008 11:08 AM

                      Are not dogs omnivorous. Mine certainly is.

                      Show Hidden Posts