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Should We Shoot, Sell, and Eat Dallas’ Feral Hogs?

According to Jackson Landers, author of Eating Aliens: One Man’s Adventures Hunting Invasive Animal Species, YES.

From a recent interview with

There are so many people right now who have meat-eater’s remorse – people who eat meat and feel kind of bad about it, but they’re not actually going to stop. Or they’re vegetarians and their bodies actually crave meat. But there’s so much awareness about what’s wrong with the mainstream food system – and they haven’t known what to do about that. The beautiful thing about hunting, especially invasive species, is it’s a way of dropping out of the mainstream meat paradigm, where so many of the ethical and health problems associated with eating meat arise.

Specifically about feral boars and hogs, which have recently begun their descent into North Dallas and the suburbs:

Q. Local and federal agencies seem to be divided on this issue. How is conservation reconciled with food safety? For example, should we hunt species like feral boar rooting in spinach fields?

A. The [U.S. Department of Agriculture] doesn’t really care if hunters are out in spinach fields shooting feral boar. The [Food and Drug Administration] has more of a problem in that regard. Because whenever federal regulations come into play involving the sale of meat across state lines, it has to be slaughtered and processed in an approved slaughterhouse – which is kind of ridiculous. In Europe, wild game can be killed in the field, brought to the butcher, cut up, and sold. It’s not like big E. coli or brucellosis outbreaks are happening; they’ve been doing this in Europe for over 100 years with good science behind it. There’s no special food safety danger with regards to selling the meat of animals that have been killed in the field, which is to say on a hunt.

Texas has more feral hogs than the rest of the country combined, and the state began hosting its “Get The Hog Outta Texas” competition in 2010. Maybe they should also let people bring a fork and knife.