'Kangatarian': TV contestant riles up Australians on social media
May 29 2018 10:11 AM
Kangaroos are Australia's national animal, but not protected.


A participant on the reality television show Love Island Australia has baffled social media Down Under by claiming to be "kangatarian." 
"I used to be kangatarian ... So I used to only eat kangaroo and fish. Because kangaroos aren't farmed," said Justin, a model competing on the reality dating show that premiered on Sunday night. 
The neologism, referring to Australia's native marsupial, riled up Australians on social media.
"What the heck is a kangatarian? Is that an actual thing?" tweeted Adriano Di Prato.
"These are made up words. Kangatarian isn't a thing," comedian Michael Beveridge wrote.
But, in fact, "kangatarian" was Oxford University Press (OUP) Australia's "word of the month" in June 2017. It was described as "a person who eats kangaroo meat but avoids eating other meat."
The term does "is often based on a set of ethical choices," the OUP explained, adding that the word would be considered for inclusion in the next edition of the Australian National Dictionary.
In 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper had described "kangatarian" as "a new semi-vegetarian wave emerging in Australia."
Kangaroos are Australia's national animal, but not protected. Their population is estimated to be around 45 million, almost double the human population.
While kangaroo meat is not as popular in Australia as other meat products like beef or pork, dieticians say it is very lean, a good source of iron and protein and does not contain growth hormones since the animals are not farmed.

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