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An Unanswered Letter to American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

Christopher L. Jorgensen
P.O. Box 546
Ames, IA 50010

December 29, 2008

ASIH Allen Press
PO Box 1897
Lawrence, KS 66044-8897

Dear American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists,

Some time back I made the decision to no longer eat red meat due to the fact that I no longer wanted to contribute to such a wasteful industry. Hog confinement lots pollute our streams and air, cow facilities require an incredible amount of water and grain, and again produce large amounts of waste products. I still eat chicken, and other fowl, even though I disagree with the conditions under which they are raised as well (they are just too tasty to stand on principles).

I have no qualms about fish, but a fish and fowl diet quickly grows boring. This is where my question comes in. Do you think reptiles and amphibians should be considered red meat? One of my local restaurants offers “alligator fingers” (I don’t think they are really the fingers though), and I tried them. They were quite good, if a little salty, and they didn’t look like red meat to me.

If reptiles aren’t considered red meat I was thinking they would be a nice variety I could consume to supplement my diet. Do you have any suggestions on which reptiles or amphibians are the tastiest? Is there a particular place I should acquire their meat, or is my local pet store my best bet for this kind of thing? What about recipes?

And since, to my admittedly limited knowledge, these are egg laying animals, which ones have the biggest, most nutritious, eggs? Would it be to my benefit to buy one of these egg layers to insure a daily fresh supply? And again, which would be best for this purpose?

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I look forward to your reply and hopefully my first meal of snake, turtle, or lizard!


Christopher L. Jorgensen

p.s. I will be upset if these animals end up tasting “just like chicken.”


Eh, I’ve had aligator “fingers” before. Like breaded chicken fingers/tenders, but tasted a lot like calamari. I have nothing to compare them to so I don’t know if this was good ‘gator or just average, but it for sure wasn’t bad. It didn’t taste anything like chicken.

By Christopher L. Jorgensen


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Christopher L. Jorgensen
PO Box 546
Ames, IA 50010

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