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To Eat or Not to Eat? The debate revolving around the beast of burden in Kenya

19 October 2015

Donkey meat has recently found its way on to tables of some households in Kenya amidst a contest between campaigners of ‘enlarged food basket’ on one hand and livestock experts, animal rights activists and legislators from regions where the animal is used for transport on the other. The latter group says besides the meat not been culturally acceptable among Kenyan communities historically, allowing consumption of the donkey meat will cause depletion of the current stock of 600,000 donkeys in the country faster than they can procreate throwing the livelihoods of communities who depend on it into disarray.

Given that there are no known scientific reasons for which donkey meat should not be eaten, the practice, which only started in Kenya in the very recent times is not seen as socially acceptable a situation that puts into a sharp perspective the influence of culture and socialization on choice of food. As the debate rages on, it will be interesting to see how the interest of proponents of eating donkey meat and those of the opinion that the animal should only be used for transport play out.



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