We all need protein. Now of course you can get it from lentils and mushrooms, and soy beans and all that sort of jazz, and you can definitely do it deliciously. But for most people, it’s hard to beat good old-fashioned meat. It’s what we evolved with, and to be honest, it’s pretty damn tasty. (The nutritional value is debated – plenty of vegetarians will tell you it’s bad for both our health and our karma, while the carnivores will tell you it’s essential for being a proper person.)
Either way, the fact is we do eat a lot of a meat, and most of it comes from cows.
We eat cows out of habit, basically. Our ancestors brought them over because that’s what they ate at home. Of course Europe is a very different environment to Australia. So they had to set about clearing all the rainforest for grazing space. Still today, making space for cows is the leading cause of deforestation in the world. They messed up the topsoil with their hooves, obliterated the native landscape, and practically drank us to drought. If they were grain fed, they had to eat 5-10 times their meat’s weight in grain, which all had to be grown, fertilized, and harvested.
But the biggest problem with cows is their digestive system, which produces an awful lot of methane. Literally farts and burps. It might seem trivial, but that source alone actually accounts for about 10 per cent of our total national greenhouse gas emissions.
So, cow meat might not be the best way of getting our protein.
Surely there is something else we can do. What doesn’t compromise on the juicy taste and familiarity of beef? Kangaroo, ladies and gentlemen. The ultimate in free-range organic meat. It tastes great, it’s a lean meat so it’s better for you, and it’s a hell of a lot better for the environment.
The key point is that kangaroos are native. This is where they evolved, so they’re perfectly suited to this environment. They don’t need farmers to feed them anything, or give them any water, or clear any forest so they can graze, or do anything for them whatsoever. Their soft paws don’t damage the topsoil the way that cattle hooves do. And perhaps most importantly, their digestive systems don’t produce methane, so their farts and burps aren’t a problem.
Now, in fillet form, you can kind of tell the difference between kangaroo and beef. It’s a bit gamier, and prefers to be cooked rare. It’s hardly the hugest sacrifice, but if someone really doesn’t want to budge, then in mince form, it’s virtually indistinguishable. So for bolognese, for burgers, for burritos, for rissoles or sausages, swap beef over and chuck in some kangaroo and you probably won’t know the difference. In taste that is. In everything else, there’s a massive difference.
Let’s start with price. Beef can be anywhere between $10 and $60 per kilo, depending on how many hormones or chemicals you want inserted along the way, whether it’s grass or grain, organic or free range, or whatever. Kangaroo, guaranteed free-range organic every time, $9-13 a kilo.