Monkey Forest Tales: Some reasons for wild animal consumption: tradition, status and cultural beliefs

Today’s post is about some of the reasons for people’s use and consumption of wild animals. Since we appear on earth our diet had depended on animals and plants. We change our animal consumption habits depending on where we live and how we live.
So for example, people in the Amazon depend on forest and river species to support their protein consumption, while in some parts of Africa, people depend on savanna’s animals to eat or Aboriginal people in Australia depended traditionally on kangaroos to survive. Since the beginning of agriculture and livestock animal domestication, our consumption habits had changed. Sometimes restricted by cultural beliefs and religious constraints.
However, in many parts of the world, there is still a high number of wild animals consumed for different reasons. Some are consumed because culturally people believe those animals give them some mystical powers or protect them from diseases and bad spirits or because it gives them some status. Sometimes there is a combination of some or all of them.
In the study area, there is a combination of tradition and cultural beliefs that motivates the consumption of wild animals by local people. Traditionally there are some animals typical from the region that have been consumed just because it’s tradition and a typical dish in the region, despite the long history of cattle ranching in the area since colonial times.

Some parts of animals are used as remedies against tropical diseases such as malaria. There is still a belief that if you used the hyoids bone from red howler monkeys you can be cured of malaria. Another local belief rooted in the macho culture of the area is that some preparation with the penis bone from a male coati can cure you of erectile dysfunction.

Some other animals are consumed because their meat is tasty, like armadillos, tapirs, caiman, deer,  capybaras, and peccaries. All of them were common in the study area, and now are less common and illegally hunted. And in some ways, there are considered a delicacy for some locals.
Although monkeys in the study area are not heavily hunted for consumption, the pet trade is a higher threat, there is still a lot of work to do in this topic.

Although it is difficult to change people’s habits and beliefs, education and in some cases some of the traditional taboos and seasonal bans could be used to reduce the illegal consumption of wild animals in the area. Although monkeys in the study area are not heavily hunted for consumption, the pet trade is a higher threat, there is still a lot of work to do in this topic
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