Retired couple breed guinea pigs to EAT because it’s more sustainable – so would you try one?
- Rees and Col Campbell farm guinea pigs on their property in Tasmania
- Couple sell some as pets but keep others so they can kill them for their meat
- They say it is a sustainable way of producing meat and better for environment
A retired couple are farming guinea pigs in order to kill and eat them in what they describe as a sustainable way of consuming meat.
Rees and Col Campbell have been engaging in the practice at their one-acre block in Wynyard, northwest Tasmania, for about five years.
‘It’s certainly it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to grow and kill their own guinea pigs for meat,’ Ms Campbell told the ABC.
‘But if we’re going to eat meat, guinea pig meat is a very sustainable meat to produce and all our animals here live a quiet and happy existence with us, so they have a really good, quiet life and then they have a good quiet, death.’
Tasmanian couple Rees and Col Campbell (pictured) breed guinea pigs on their one-acre property, which they later eat in stews
The retired couple have been farming guinea pigs for about five years and sell some when they are babies as pets but keep others to eat when they are about half-grown
Ms Campbell also described it as a ‘kinder’ way of eating meat, noting how guinea pigs are not emitters of methane, only eat garden scraps and do not damage the environment in the same way as ‘big, cloven-hoofed animals’.
She said the concept of eating guinea pigs is not unique around the world, with Latin America and Indonesia big consumers of the meat.
‘Australians seem to have some strange views of which animals are cute and which ones aren’t and I think there’s an aversion to eating what is seen as cute,’ she said.
Ms Campbell said she can pick the guinea pigs up ‘and trim their toenails, or I can pick them up and kill them for dinner’.
The couple established netted gardens so the guinea pigs can roam about freely. Currently there are about 14 guinea pigs on the property.
They sell some guinea pigs as pets when they are babies but keep others so they can later eat them when they are about half-grown.
There are currently about 14 guinea pigs on the property, which are allowed to roam freely
A picture of a meal Ms Campbell posted to Facebook with the caption: ‘A slightly unusual dinner tonight but all from our garden here – guinea pig stew, the first corn of the season, and some pickled quail eggs’
Ms Campbell said if humans were going to continue consuming meat ‘then growing it and killing it yourself’ is both ‘socially and ethically responsible’.
She said guinea pigs are best eaten in stews as they are an incredibly dense meat and added she likes to flavour the dishes with tomato and Tasmanian herbs.
Dinner guests have been ‘pleasantly surprised’ with the taste of the guinea pigs meals, Ms Campbell said.
The couple have devoted their property to sustainable food practices in retirement, with more than 120 species of edible Tasmanian native plants and an orchard, berry patch and vegetable garden.