Next time you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, spare a thought about Arthur Boyt and be thankful you’re not walking a mile in his shoes.
I came across a story about Arthur whilst looking up something else. The story is dated 8 December 2015 and it is headed “Roadkill man to eat dolphin he found washed up dead on beach for Christmas Dinner”. Some things, headlines included, just can't be improved upon.
You can read the story by clicking on the following link:
This is Arthur:
Here is a reprint of part of the story . . .
A scavenging man with a reputation for eating roadkill is set to break new grounds with this year's Christmas dinner. Arthur Boyt, who has a penchant for eating animals he finds on his travels, is going to dish up a dolphin he discovered lying on the beach.
The eccentric 76-year-old has eaten a few odd things in his time, including weasels, hedgehogs, squirrels, and otters. He scoops up the flattened carcasses before taking them home and turning them into meals or freezing them for later. Last Christmas he tucked into badger casserole but this year he is preparing cooked common dolphin. Arthur says he found one washed up dead near his home in Davidstow, Cornwall. But it could land him in trouble with the Queen - experts say all dolphins found on Britain's coast belong to the crown.
The retired biologist said the marine mammal tastes so "delicious" he's already eaten some of it along with a seal he found in the same spot. Married Arthur said:
"This will even be a first for me eating dolphin on Christmas Day. When I found the dolphin on the beach I collected what meat joints I could and I kept them in the freezer for special occasions such as Christmas. It tastes so delicious. The great thing about roadkill is that you are getting meat without the guilt of killing an animal or having one killed on your behalf. It's a situation much more in keeping with the spirit of Christmas."
But Danny Groves, a spokesman for the Whales and Dolphin Conservation, said eating dolphin found on a beach is a crime. He said:
"Whales and dolphins are not public property - they belong to the Crown. If they do get washed up they should be removed by local authority. A washed up dolphin or whale could be riddled with disease so anyone eating the animal is putting themselves at serious risk. In the UK whales and dolphins (and porpoises) are classed as 'Royal fish'. Essentially when they strand they are the property of the Crown. They should not be removed by members of the public. Even if that were not the case, it is a very unwise thing to eat dead whales or dolphins that wash up on the shore. They can carry diseases which are transferable to humans, and are usually taken away by local authorities to be buried in landfill."
Arthur will be spending Christmas with his wife, Su, and his 90-year-old mother-in-law, but said they will not be joining him with his dolphin dish.
"My wife is a vegetarian so she doesn't eat the dishes I cook and especially not ones with animals I've collected from the roadsides. There will still be a traditional turkey on Christmas Day but I don't like buying and eating meat. I feel very strongly about killing animals, so strongly, I can only just about manage a chicken leg at a party or something. I would never buy meat and the great thing about roadkill is knowing that the animal hasn't been purposely killed."
Arthur started eating roadkill aged 13 and loves to pig-out on fox, rabbit, sparrow, deer, and pigeon. He says the oddest-tasting food he's ever had is bat and he once had porcupine he brought back from a holiday in Canada.
''What you have for Christmas depends very much on what you find by the road in the week or so beforehand - unless you are like me and keep a good supply of all kinds of roadkill in the freezer."
As I said, count your blessings this Christmas and that whatever you have for lunch or dinner, be grateful that it’s not roadkill or washed up dead dolphin.