Clinic Stories

Roadkill

Many people assume that as a veterinarian I am opposed to hunting. Not true. I have never hunted myself but I have no objection to people who hunt responsibly. I have worked with many country people during college and in the poultry industry and most were conscientious hunters. Many hunted for much needed food.

John Roberts worked at the beef and sheep barns at Penn State. He was always upbeat despite many challenges. He dreamed of expanding his small family farm near Bloomsburg, PA and came to college to help meet his goal. He married his high school sweetheart while in college and lived in a rented run down trailer. In his second year of college his wife became pregnant and a difficult financial situation became dire. One day he arrived at work and excitedly asked the manager if he could start a few minutes late. “I saw a dead raccoon down the road and I want to pick it up for dinner.” His excitement waned when I told him that I had been riding by that raccoon on my bike and the flies had been on him for most of a week.

John was one of many people I have known who ate road kill. I have roomed with guys who literally went out after work to hunt for that evening’s dinner. I was often asked to save chicken parts from birds I did post-mortem examinations on. Most of us are privileged to live in a cocoon of comfort and safety for which we should be grateful. Others struggle, some to the point of eating road kill.

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