Dozens of varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, and cows are on the endangered species list as a direct consequence of industrial farming and food conglomerates.Because these are livestock and poultry, we don’t see them in the same way as we do more exotic animals in nature.
We sometimes ask people what the main difference is between the Red Wattle pig and the Bengali tiger, and the answer is that there are more Bengali tigers in the world than there are Red Wattle breeding pigs. Red Wattles are also delicious, and legal to eat.
Many a noble breed that had been raised by generations of family farms, that had its own traits and taste and look and purpose is on the brink of extinction—like the Red Wattle, which populated the yards of New Orleans throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Breeding and eating these animals is part of the responsible stewardship of the planet. It may be counterintuitive—some kind of inverse Darwinism that contradicts that whole survival-of-the-fittest thing — but to save them, we’ve got to eat them.