Furry little critters that scurry across the highway are dead meat to recession buster Emily Johnson… the world’s champion road kill queen.
“It’s my life’s pursuit,” said Johnson, who looks more like a middle-aged schoolmarm than a hard driving queen of the road.
“More animals have been flattened by my car than quarterbacks on Monday Night Football.”
She’s mowed down 66 raccoons, 42 dogs, 48 cats, 46 rabbits, 10 porcupines, 4 groundhogs, 16 snakes, 26 possums, 62 turtles, 1 deer, 1 elk and more armadillos than she can count.
“Most folks shop at the supermarket but I run down my food on the highway and avoid the checkout line,” she joked. “I skin my meat while it’s still hot and slap it in the cooler I keep in the trunk.”
Johnson, 51, has been cruising America’s back roads and highways since her husband died 10 years ago in Gary, Ind. She lives on a small pension and her husband’s Social Security.
“I was having a hard time making ends meet until I read an article about a wildlife biologist in Canada who scraped fresh-killed animals off the pavement, cooked them and ate them,” she said.
“The article referred to him as the ‘Silly Chef’ and quoted him as saying: ‘If you’ve got gas in your tank, you’ve got food on your table.’ I really liked that.”
Johnson believes that God put everything on this earth for us to use and appreciate, including plants and animals.
“Food shouldn’t be wasted,” she said. “Rich people can buy what they want, but I like to kill and eat what you can’t buy at the grocery store.”
Early spring is the best time for prowling the roads. The temperature is about right and many animals are coming out of hibernation, she explains. Two-thirds of her road kills have been at night.
“I slammed into the elk and deer in the Northwest two years ago,” Johnson said. “They came out of the forest at night and I couldn’t avoid them. They really messed up my car.”
The critter-killing widow plans to write and sell a cookbook of road kill recipes in the near future.
“I’ve slow-roasted raccoon, sauteed squirrel and eaten armadillo a la mode for dessert,” she said.
“I’d like to share my recipes with the world.”