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  • Writer's pictureInga

Kangatarianism: An Ethical and Ecological Approach to Diet

Kangatarianism is a dietary choice that combines vegetarianism with the inclusion of kangaroo meat. This unique approach to eating emerged in Australia, driven by a blend of ethical, ecological, and health considerations. Kangatarianism offers a middle ground for those seeking to reduce their environmental impact and improve animal welfare while still consuming some animal protein.

Kangaroo meat dish - Credit Flickr, JR DeOliveira

Ethical Considerations

The ethical rationale behind kangatarianism stems from concerns about the conditions in which most livestock are raised. Traditional livestock farming often involves intensive farming practices that can result in poor living conditions for animals, leading to debates about animal welfare. In contrast, kangaroos are wild animals, and their meat is harvested through controlled culling programs. This method is viewed as more humane by some, as it avoids the confinement and industrial practices associated with factory farming.

Traditional cattle farming

Furthermore, the culling of kangaroos is considered necessary to manage their population in Australia. Without natural predators and with ample food resources, kangaroo populations can grow to unsustainable levels, causing ecological damage and increasing the risk of starvation for the animals themselves. Therefore, controlled culling is seen not only as a source of meat but also as a means to maintain ecological balance.

Environmental Impact

Kangatarianism is also promoted for its lower environmental impact compared to traditional livestock farming. The environmental footprint of raising cattle, sheep, and pigs is substantial, involving high greenhouse gas emissions, significant water use, and deforestation. Kangaroos, being native to Australia, are well-adapted to the local environment and do not require the same level of resources to manage.

Kangaroos produce less methane than ruminant livestock like cattle and sheep, making them a more environmentally friendly source of protein. Additionally, they do not require large-scale agricultural feed or extensive water resources, which are major contributors to the environmental impact of traditional livestock farming. By choosing kangaroo meat over other animal products, kangatarians can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to more sustainable food systems.

Health Benefits

From a health perspective, kangaroo meat offers several advantages. It is a lean meat with low levels of saturated fat and high protein content. Moreover, it is rich in essential nutrients such as iron and zinc, making it a healthy addition to a balanced diet. For vegetarians who include kangaroo meat in their diet, it can provide the necessary nutrients that are sometimes challenging to obtain from a strictly plant-based diet.

Kangaroo meat is also free from antibiotics and growth hormones, which are often used in conventional livestock farming. This makes it an attractive option for those concerned about the potential health risks associated with these substances.

Kangaroo Fillet, spiced vegetables & yoghurt - Credit recipes K-ROO

Cultural and Economic Aspects

Kangatarianism reflects a broader trend of re-evaluating traditional diets in favour of more sustainable and ethical options. In Australia, where kangaroos are abundant and culturally significant, this diet has particular relevance. By incorporating kangaroo meat into their diet, Australians can support local economies and reduce reliance on imported meats.

However, the concept of eating kangaroo meat is not without controversy. Some Australians view kangaroos as a national symbol and find the idea of consuming them unpalatable. This cultural resistance poses a challenge to the wider acceptance of kangatarianism, highlighting the complex interplay between dietary choices and cultural values.

Challenges and Criticisms

Despite its benefits, kangatarianism is not without challenges. One significant issue is the limited availability of kangaroo meat outside Australia. For kangatarianism to gain global traction, there would need to be a reliable supply chain and international regulatory approval for kangaroo meat exports.

Additionally, the practice of culling kangaroos, though regulated, raises ethical questions about wildlife management and conservation. Critics argue that promoting kangaroo meat consumption might lead to over-culling or the commercialisation of a wild species, potentially disrupting ecosystems.

Kangatarianism represents an innovative approach to dietary habits, combining ethical, environmental, and health considerations. By incorporating kangaroo meat into a predominantly vegetarian diet, individuals can reduce their ecological footprint, support animal welfare, and benefit from a nutritious and sustainable source of protein. While it faces cultural and logistical challenges, kangatarianism offers a compelling model for sustainable eating in the face of global food production challenges. As awareness of environmental and ethical issues in food production grows, kangatarianism may inspire similar dietary movements around the world, promoting more sustainable and humane food systems.


Australian Native Food


Wikipedia, Kangaroo Meat 

Wikipedia, Kangaroo Industry


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