05 October 2011 by Julienne du Toit

Cows vs Kudus

If you’d been in South Africa, say 10 years ago, and came back again today, one difference that would strike you is the massive growth in game farms.

There has been a steady change-over from livestock farms to game.

The attraction is that cows and sheep have only one value - meat. And they utilize only one piece of the ecosystem - grass. Yet wild animals can generate money on a number of levels: ecotourism, hunting, trade and meat. Also, they use the full spectrum of the ecosystem, grazing and browsing, and are very efficient and judicious users of the resources.

They’re naturally resistant to disease, need no dipping or special feeding and pretty much take care of themselves.

Venison, in addition, is a ‘clean’ meat, with none of the hormones and steroids and antibiotics you’ll find in ‘grain-fed’ (for which read ‘feedlot’) beef. Also, the animals are generally shot by professional hunters, not transported on long and stressful trucks to abattoir.

Which is why all the (not very much) meat in my freezer is venison.

Category: Wildlife

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