australian culture and customs

find out how australians do things, how we see the world and the world sees us

Animals – food, friend or both?

pets are aussie too

  • Australians love animals. Having said that, we do actually eat our two national animals, the emu and the kangaroo!
  • animal cruelty is not acceptable. That means kicking a dog, not giving your cat water or not feeding your goldfish. It also applies to livestock (animals killed for eating) and wild animals.  Australians have recently been outraged at the treatment of our live sheep and cattle sent to other countries.  Videos of sheep being stuffed into car boots and cows being hoisted up by their necks, for example, outraged Australians including the government who stopped the sale of livestock overseas for a short while.
  • pet animals are usually considered part of the family and may live inside or outside of the house.  When our neighbours’ dog died recently we had a little funeral in the front yard and put flowers on the grave. Goodbye Wags.
  • we buy special food especially for our pets at great expense!
  • when we slaughter animals to eat, we like to do it humanely so that they suffer as little as possible.
  • cruelty to animals is against the law and has serious consequences including jail
  • the latest trend in Australia is buying pet insurance in case your mate gets sick or hurt

The most common animals kept as pets are

  • cats
  • dogs
  • rabbits
  • guinea pigs
  • mice
  • small fish (goldfish, guppies, etc.)
  • small birds (budgerigars, finches, quails, canaries, etc.)
  • the occasional snake, rat or ferret

Some animals are protected and you are not allowed to keep them as pets

Animals it’s ok to eat in Australia

  • sheep (‘lamb’)
  • pig (‘pork’)
  • cow (‘beef’)
  • goat (‘capretto’ or ‘kid’)
  • kangaroo (but not that common)
  • emu (not very common)
  • chicken
  • duck
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • other seafood (octopus, squid, etc)
  • rabbit (occasionally)
  • deer (venison)

Animals it is really unacceptable or weird to eat in Australia

  • cats
  • dogs
  • horses
  • guinea pigs
  • mice
  • whales
  • insects

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2013 by in etiquette and customs, law and tagged , , , , , , .
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