When times get tough, people will turn to some desperate measures to stay alive. During the winter months especially, some living in exceptionally harsh conditions will even turn to eating their own pets.

In Michigan, however, that's a big no-no.

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Michigan was one of only six states in 2018 that banned the slaughtering, killing, cooking, and consumption of dogs and cats. That meant, 44 other states still allowed it to happen.

THANKFULLY, The U.S. House, in 2018, passed legislation that would outlaw the slaughter of dogs and cats for food in the U.S. It was then passed by the Senate in December of that year, and the reconciled Farm Bill was signed by then President Donald Trump just before Christmas.

BUT, there are still only six states that have it specifically listed as state law to band the consumption of dog and cats - California, Georgia, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Michigan.

So for any dogs and cats that might be reading this, we're a safe space for you.



Likewise, other animals you might consider pets - horses - are also banned from being sold as meat... but it's technically not illegal to eat a horse in Michigan.

Fair Warning: Things get a bit "icky" beyond this point in the article.

The U.S. signed laws in 2007 to effectively banning horse slaughterhouses, and the selling of horse meat for consumption. BUT... it is NOT ILLEGAL to eat horse meat. So, for instance, you own a horse and it dies, or you have to kill it... there's nothing prohibiting you from slaughtering and eating the horse yourself... you just can't sell it.

I know, the thought of eating Seabiscuit is kind of tough to take in, but there are people who do it. And if you notice one of your neighbor's horses are missing, and suddenly they want you over for dinner... I'd politely decline for a week or two.


Unsplash via Tor Stryger
Unsplash via Tor Stryger

If you're looking for something a little less personal, then you'll be happy to know that in Michigan, it is perfectly legal to gather up roadkill and keep it for your own needs. You just need a permit.

There's an application process with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to get your permit, and it's FREE!

So 30 minutes in the MDoNR office, and you can collect all the roadkill you want - deer, raccoon, possum, woodchuck, squirrel, etc. - for your own consumption. Well... ALMOST all the roadkill. Of all the animals you might find on the side of the road, TURKEY is on the state's "do-not-eat" list.

Now, it bears pointing out, the permit "does not apply to an individual who USES a motor vehicle to kill or injure game intentionally." 

In other words, you can't swerve INTO Bambi for a quick meal. If it is an accident, though, the specifics of the law say...

"The driver of the vehicle has first choice to take possession of the game. But if the driver leaves it, another individual may take it for salvage."

So let's recap. Can you eat...
Dogs and Cats - Absolutely not. No way, no how. (Also, how dare you for even considering it.)
Horses - Yes, but you can't make a profit, and you have to "clean" it yourself.
Roadkill - Just get a permit... and stay away from the turkey.

I guess that means I'm avoiding any "Roadkill Cafe's," because in Michigan they MIGHT not be ironic.

9 Animals That Are, Surprisingly, Legal to Own in Michigan

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