Britain is enduring a fierce battle over plans to cull wild animals to control diseases, but for Arthur Boyt, 74, this represents an opportunity for fine dining.
The ex-zoologist lives on scavenged animal meat around his rural home in Davidstow in Cornwall, southwest England, and told us he is just waiting for the world to follow his lead.
Metro: Thousands of badgers in Britain are to be killed by the government. Is that good or bad news?
Boyt: I was disappointed about the badger cull, and I didn’t want to talk about eating them as I live in a sensitive area.
Do badgers taste better than other roadkill?
They are fairly normal, along with rabbits and pheasants. There are so many of them on the road and people should be aware of the treasure in dirty packages. They can be cooked and provide for people, especially the poor.
What is the rarest treat?
Foxes are the least eaten, but I have discovered an old Italian recipe: you keep it hanging in a freezer and steam it, then roll in flour and season with herbs. Pan sear it briefly, then stew in water.
What is your signature dish?
Do you like the attention your activities have received, and what influence would you like to have?
Everybody enjoys a bit of fame, and it’s nice to hear from people that I haven’t seen in 20 years. I don’t know if I have influence, there is certainly a small group of acquaintances who dip into this supply.
What is your routine for collecting roadkill?
I never go out looking, it’s just when I’m out riding my bike – you would be amazed what I find. Of course it’s difficult to carry animals on a bike, I’ve ridden all over the world and even carried deer, but it’s hard to stop them slipping off.
Does it matter what condition the animal is in?
There’s a limit: maggots are the worst because they eat so quickly. But most things stay edible, especially in winter they can be eaten after two weeks on the road. You just have to cook very thoroughly.
What reactions do you get in your community?
They think I’m a joke. Most people I invite for dinner decline, but some younger people, and my brother-in-law and his wife, do come and share a meal.