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What is Kangatarianism?

We’re all familiar with vegans, vegetarians, and pescetarians, but have you ever heard of kangatarians? The concept of Kangatarians became widespread in a Sydney Morning Herald article and its mention in the Love Island Australian dating show. 

Kangatarianism is eating a vegetarian diet while still consuming kangaroo meat. Many kangatarians justify that it is a conscious eating decision as it’s nutrient-packed and less environmentally harmful. 

The Famous Love Island Kangatarian

We all know vegans, vegetarians, and pescetarians, but what about kangatarians? Kangatarians are people who eat nothing but vegetables and the meat of kangaroos. The concept first became widely relevant during one of the episodes of Love Island Australia, an Australian reality dating show.

In the particular Love Island Australia episode aired in May 2018, the vet nursing student Millie and model Justin talked about their love for animals while lounging near the pool. When Justin asked Millie if she were a vegan, she replied that she was a pescetarian. Justin nodded in understanding, saying that he was a kangatarian. With the look of confusion on Millie’s face, Justin explained that he only ate kangaroo meat because there is an absence of kangaroo farming.

Many netizens were shocked by the idea of kangatarianism, claiming that it was their first time hearing the word kangatarian. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

The Rise of Kangatarianism

For many internet users, Love Island Australia introduced the word kangatarian. In actuality, the concept of kangatarian became relevant in 2010 when an article from the Sydney Morning Herald depicted kangatarians as a new semi-vegetarian category in Australia.

There’s a new semi-vegetarian wave emerging in Australia: people who exclude all meat except kangaroo on environmental, ecological, and humanitarian grounds. They call themselves kangatarians and are slowly growing in numbers.

Sydney Morning Herald

Being a kangatarian became popular in Australia in 2010 as many kangatarians argued that eating Kangaroo meat was more environmentally friendly. For the kangatarians, their kangatarian lifestyle introduced them to a more natural & organic way of living due to the absence of drugs in its production. Additionally, many organic meat-eaters opt for kangaroo meat.

Dietician Doctor Kate Marsh explains her familiarity with the concept of kangatarianism, saying that kangaroo meat is a good source of iron and protein while being low in fat. Doctor Marsh clarifies that kangaroo meat is better than most red meats as a source of iron.

Sarah Doornbos, an officer at the University of Sydney, states that eating kangaroo meat would be better for the Australian environment as they inflict lesser harm on land, unlike cattle. But the idea of kangaroo meat being entirely environmentally harmless isn’t quite true. Researchers found in 2015 demystified this idea as they concluded that the methane production of kangaroos and horses is similar in amount. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Even though kangatarianism is a relatively new term for most people, Indigenous Australians have eaten kangaroo meat for centuries. While some Australians do not see any problems in the concept of kangatarianism, most Australians do not prefer eating kangaroo meat at all due to the endearing and prevalent presence of Skippy, the bush kangaroo, in their childhood. (Source: Drink Tea Travel

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