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Eating Roadkill in West Virginia

November 30, 2014

Imagine coming home after a long day at work. You detect an odd but intriguing scent from the kitchen as your partner yells, “Dinner’s ready!” You sit down at the table and your partner slides a plate of strange-looking meat in front of you. “What are we eating tonight, sweetie?” you ask. Your partner replies, “Opossum, honey! I ran over him this morning!

Such a scene, while unusual and disturbing to most, would be perfectly legal under West Virginia law. Did you get that? Here it is again: West Virginians are permitted by law to scrape roadkill off the road, take it home, and eat it.

It’s important to note that not all West Virginians take roadkill home and eat it, but they could if they wanted to. Everyone else in the country is forced to keep driving after running over an animal. Instead of chowing down on flattened squirrel, drivers from the other 49 states must settle for pizza, pasta, or another truly unpalatable dinner option.

Every year, Marlinton, West Virginia hosts the Roadkill Cook-off and Festival. Past winners include the porcupine stew and teriyaki marinated bear. You’ll be relieved to know that festivalgoers do not eat real roadkill; rather, they eat clean meat from animals that belong to the same species as common roadkill victims.

If you hit an animal on a West Virginia highway, don’t be upset; you might get a tasty supper out of the experience! Hopefully a chicken decides to cross the road in front of you; or better yet, a lobster riding a cow. Surf ‘n’ turf, anyone?

If a Tucson police officer pulls you over for attempting to take home roadkill, or if you are accused of a more serious crime, let Tucson lawyer Janet Altschuler defend you in court. Attorney Janet Altschuler has successfully argued numerous cases and can help you face your charges head on.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?