California has always been the most leftest-leaning of all of the states. They’re passing legislation left and right that has many people scratching their heads, trying to figure out what the governor is thinking. The state is dealing with wildfires, an opioid crisis, homelessness, countless illegals, and breakouts of various diseases that were once eradicated in the United States. Rather than dealing with those issues, they’re focusing on something entirely different.
Governor Gavin Newsom just passed a bill that legalizes the ability to cook and eat roadkill. Roadkill, as in the animals that are killed by vehicles and left for dead on the side of the road. There’s no definition in his bill to identify what species of animals are available for the menu, either. In California, the most common roadkill found roadside includes skunk, gopher snake, and even mountain lion. Birds are high on the list, too, including barn owls.
Senate Bill 395, nicknamed the Roadkill bill, will go into effect in 2020. People will have the ability to salvage and eat animals that are either found roadside or that are unintentionally hit when driving down the highway. Anyone who wishes to eat roadkill will need to obtain a salvage permit in exchange for details about the animal, including how it was killed and where. It will be part of an effort to eliminate carcasses on the road and make it safer for drivers and animals on the road.
Most people aren’t lining up to eat a dead possum found on the side of the highway. Some people are wondering if this isn’t a way to cater to the homeless, providing them with an alternative source of protein. Then, there’s always the “alternative cuisine” that many people are looking to explore – especially as restaurateurs look for their newest way to bring in guests.
With California constantly claiming to be focused on public health, how could they possibly approve such a bill? Roadkill is commonly associated with rabies, encephalitis, and so much more – including food poisoning. The average person who would consider eating roadkill isn’t going to have the meat tested before consuming it, which means they could be introducing all sorts of toxins into their diet. It’s likely that new bills will have to come out, too, ensuring that various food trucks and restaurants will have to identify the protein used in their burgers and other dishes. All it’s going to take is one person to use skunk or another roadkill find in their restaurant and someone to get sick for this to come back and bite Newsom.
Many in California had no idea that there was a law that prevented people from eating roadkill – though it’s obvious that most people aren’t going to choose this as their primary form of cuisine. While there is always going to be the argument that it’s better to eat something on the side of the road (like deer) than to let it rot, there’s still something to be said about just any roadkill. Cops were the ones having to track down cases of roadkill in the past.
With the bill that’s out there now, cops don’t have to waste their time with investigations. Those who want to eat roadkill will have the ability to do so.
There weren’t a large number of people busting the governor’s door down, asking for this bill to be passed. Hundreds of Californians weren’t demanding to have roadkill made legal so that they could open diners serving the latest beast dead on the side of the Golden State Freeway. So, why the push for Governor Newsom’s latest bill? No one is really sure.
Perhaps Newsom had no idea how to face all of the other issues plaguing the state that he decided to look busy by passing a bill that no one really cared about. It’s something that’s legal now, making it possible for people to eat something roadside. However, if someone eats what they find roadside and gets sick, will it now be the fault of the state? Perhaps it’s Newsom’s way of creating a survival of the fittest without being obvious about it.
Until then, people of California will have to wait for two more years before they can begin combing the sides of roads looking for animal roadkill, whether they find it fresh with tire tracks or they flip on the brights and run the stunned animal down themselves. Once they have the still-warm carcass in their hands, though, they can get that permit, thank Newsom, and have a hearty dinner.