Pest, Pet or on the Plate?

It was my first place on my own, in High Park, Toronto. I was in the middle of watching The Bachelorette (Emily Maynard’s season) when all of a sudden, I heard a noise coming from the deck, the only entrance in or out of my 500 square foot apartment. My mind started to race, who would be coming up the steps at this time? It must be an intruder, I only had one way out, so I grabbed my trusty “rock in a sock” ready to swing at the serial killer that was coming. I gathered up the nerve to peek out the window. My heart was beating out of my chest as I planned my next move. I took a big breath, pulled back the curtains and came face to face with RACCOONS!!! 

Not one, but several. While they were slightly less terrifying than the armed burglar that I was envisioning, this was still not a situation that I could live with. And, the police would not come and save me from these varmints. 

When most people hear the word raccoon, they often share a similar story about a run in, or perhaps they are reminded of a time that their garbage was deployed all over the road, or they think back to when one of these guys built a den under their deck. Regardless of the reason, raccoons are often seen by people as pests. But, did you know that some people take these creatures in as pets? And other people consider them a delicacy?! I was shocked, so I took a deeper dive into how people came to eat or live with raccoons. 

It turns out that eating raccoons was very common in some parts of America for many years. Raccoons were once considered common game for hunting and eating and they could be found at meat markets or on restaurant menus.

Raccoon is often described as tough or gamey/greasy, although it seems the quality of meat depends on how you prepare it. IF you are interested in trying this delicacy, I would recommend that you do some thorough research to seek out proper ways to prepare this meat. You also need to make sure you are taking precautions to avoid parasites or rabies… yikes. 

As some of us may have experienced, raccoons have a habit of inviting themselves to live in and around our dwellings. But, some people welcome these furry creatures into their homes as pets.  Although these little critters may seem cute and sweet, they are difficult to train and can chew through just about anything in sight. So you might want to think twice before adopting one of these little guys. Not to mention, taking a wild animal into your home is considered unsafe and not something that we would recommend. All things considered, we don’t see any reason to avoid spending some time with these guys on the water. Does anybody else want to spend their Summer with this adorable raccoon?

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