Going feral: Wild meat consumption and the uncanny in Melbourne, Australia

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Feral animals are commonly constructed as the scourge of the Australian landscape. The transgressive act of introduced, domestic animals going wild elicits strong emotive responses within the community, often conceived in a kind of Freudian spectre of das unheimliche (the uncanny/unhomely), as the once familiar becomes uncontrolled, strange and frightening. Meanwhile, exponential global growth in human populations, and the resulting strain on the environment and food security, is necessitating the rethinking of meat consumption. In Australia, while the stigma surrounding feral animals has historically inhibited their consumption, feral meat is regarded by a growing body of advocates as an environmentally favourable alternative to farmed meat, allowing not only the avoidance of animal suffering within the industrial agriculture model, but also benefitting ecosystems through the removal of damage-wreaking interlopers. This paper explores the feral turn and its contemporary manifestations as a growing food movement in Melbourne.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-65
Number of pages17
JournalThe Australian Journal of Anthropology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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