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Why is kangaroo meat not as bad as other red meats?

Kangaroo meat is a red meat option with a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to beef and lamb, mainly due to the low methane emissions, with several researchers advocating its consumption.

Kangaroo meat is a substitute for red meat whose low-emission characteristics make it an option in combating environmental impact given its great potential in mitigating greenhouse gases, mainly due to the low methane emission, with several researchers advocating increasing its consumption.

Although the average emissions vary by species and type of food consumed (1.30 to 4.10 kg CO₂-eq/kg of kangaroo meat), the impact of kangaroo meat on the diet represents approximately 5 to 15% of the total meat of ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats) emissions.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, kangaroos are considered both a national symbol,a plague and source of income (tourism, meat and leather). Thus, its monetization is an alternative to control the number of animals, which is considered a plague due to the high abundance of species that can damage pastures, crops and fences; compete for the supply of drinking water in droughts, and cause collisions with vehicles. However, as the kangaroo is a national symbol, the sale of its meat can only occur when its population is large. Conservation of the species is regulated and monitored by government agencies. 

Therefore, kangaroos are not raised on farms, they are harvested from nature. The process is managed by each state through quotas and only professional snipers are allowed to carry out the slaughter of the animals. The processing of animals is monitored, and only kangaroos killed instantly, and are free of diseases and parasites are destined for human consumption.

There is human consumption of other game meats in Australia, however, it’s lower. One reason is the offer of that meat. As Australian camel and deer populations are significantly smaller than kangaroo populations, there is less supply of both types of meat on the market. Another reason is food habits. Game meat is considered to be more exotic meat and, therefore, is not part of the population’s eating habits.

To find more information about kangaroo meat, visit:

CHOICE: The ethics of eating kangaroo meat


Wait, G. (2014). Embodied geographies of kangaroo meat. Social & Cultural Geography. 5, 406–426.

Clune, S.; Crossin, E., & Verghese, K. (2017). Systematic review of greenhouse gas emissions for different fresh food categories. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 766-783.

Ratnasiri, S., & Bandara, J. (2017). Changing patterns of meat consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in Australia: Will kangaroo meat make a difference? PLOS ONE, 12(2), e0170130. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170130

Madsen, J., & Bertelsen, M. F. (2012). Methane production by red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). American Society of Animal Science. 90, 1364–1370. doi.org/10.2527/jas.2011-4011.

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. (n.d.). Commercial harvesting of Kangaroos in Australia. Access: https://www.environment.gov.au/node/16678

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. (2008). Consumer Attitudes to Kangaroo Meat Products. Access: https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/08-026.pdf

Commonwealth of Australia. (2010). National Feral Camel Action Plan: A national strategy for the management of feral camels in Australia. Access: https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/2060c7a8-088f-415d-94c8-5d0d657614e8/files/feral-camel-action-plan.pdf

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. (n.d). Feral deer. Access: https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive-species/publications/factsheet-feral-deer#:~:text=Feral%20deer,-Department%20of%20Sustainability&text=Deer%20were%20introduced%20into%20Australia,deer%20are%20invading%20new%20areas

MLA. (2014). Camel Live Export  Supply Chain and Benefit Cost Analysis. Access: https://www.mla.com.au/download/finalreports?itemId=1326

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