People of South America and capybaras have lived peacefully one beside each other for hundreds if not thousands of years. It’s mostly due to the
Their genus name is derived from the Greek Hydrochoerus, literally meaning, you guessed it, water pig.
If you’re a fan of the biggest rodent in the world –
People do eat capybaras and have done so for thousands of years. They are considered a delicacy all over Latin America (except Chile) and especially in Venezuela where the biggest rodent in the world is prevalent.
I know, I know, it’s not easy to hear that if you’ve watched every video of capybaras soaking in hot water on YouTube, but that’s the reality of life. People eat all kinds of animals, including cats and dogs.
Capybaras are semiaquatic mammals found throughout almost all countries of South America except Chile and are considered a delicacy, especially in Venezuela.
In Venezuela, rodent meat is a sought-after delicacy, fetching prices almost double those for beef.
In the west, or should I say the north, when you mention a rodent, people think of hamsters and rats, and we don’t eat them, of course.
But now, imagine if this huge 130-pound animal that tastes like pork was native to Europe or North America. Would we be eating them? Probably.
Capybaras used to be one of the most common animals in the Great Plains. But many were killed by the Spanish conquistadors, who introduced cows that compete with capybaras for land. You’ll find out more about the crafty conquistadors below.
Although there may have been local extinctions throughout their range, the species is not endangered.
Capybara Meat Taste Like?
Although I haven’t tried it personally, various sources say that their meat tastes like pork meat with a hint of fishiness. Many Venezuelans actually insist that the
Capybara A Fish?!
When Catholics were prohibited from eating meat on Friday, the conquistadors petitioned the Vatican in the 18th century to declare the
Many Venezuelans are grateful the Vatican gave the animal the status of fish, allowing its consumption during Lent no matter how bizarre it might seem. Well, they do swim, and that could be enough to qualify for a fish, right?
Other Animals Eat Them Too
Poor capybaras, they are so delicious and big that everyone wants to eat them. Besides people, they are the preferred meal for multiple South American animals:
As you can see, the list of animals trying to eat mellow capybaras is pretty savage. There are numerous videos on YouTube of capybaras being eaten or hunted by animals.
Yup, I’ll reemphasize again, being a fairly big and delicious animal is not a plus in the wild. If vicious animals aren’t going to eat you, then humans will.
There’s one more reason why people exploit capybaras, and that is…
- Try our fun Capybara Quiz
In Argentina, the only manufacturing exporter in the world of
For these reasons, the carpincho counterfeit market has found a niche in mainstream shopping in Europe and South America.
Most people that have tried eating
Capybaras are considered generally friendly towards humans and other animals they get along with. They can bite and can inflict significant damage with their sharp rodent teeth.
Although capybaras are docile most of the time, if they get attacked or feel like they or their young might be in danger, capybaras will defend themselves and be intimidating and aggressive towards their attacker.
Capybaras aren’t considered smelly animals. They are generally clean and love to spend time swimming. They have fur that’s easy to clean, maintain, and keep odorless.
Although they’ve been known to be eaten across Latin America, capybaras are mostly eaten in Venezuela, while Chilean people don’t consume them almost at all.