The VICE Guide to Right Now

Some Chicken Stalls in Tamil Nadu Were Caught Selling Crow Meat

Two people have been arrested for selling chicken mixed with crow meat after locals noticed that the crows kept dying from eating rice offered at a temple.
Shamani Joshi
Mumbai, IN
Chicken stalls in Tamil Nadu were caught selling crow mear
Photo by Syed Ahmad / Unsplash

Every now and then, you may have suspected that a street food stall in a particular neighbourhood, which claims to sell chicken lollipops, biryani and other non-vegetarian local eats at super cheap rates, may not really be offering chicken. But while most of us swallow this nagging doubt along with those delectable seekh kebabs, the rumour actually turned out to be true in Tamil Nadu. In the city of Rameswaram, two people have been arrested for selling crow meat to street-side stalls under the guise of selling chicken.


According to local authorities, this shady business came to light when pilgrims of a local temple noticed that crows kept dying when they were fed the rice that devotees offer at the temple. That’s when it surfaced that the crows were being fed liquor-laced rice by poachers and stuffed in a sack until they became completely unconscious. Police are now investigating all the roadside eateries in the neighbourhood to see how big a scam this is.

But this is not the first time people have been caught selling another animal/bird meat instead of chicken. In 2016, in Mumbai, stray dogs were suspected to have been killed and sold as a substitute for chicken. In a similar scare in Chennai in 2018, the Food Safety Department discovered more than 1,000 kgs of rotting meat on a train coming from Jodhpur, and grew even more suspicious when they saw long tails on the carcasses. However, while the previous cases were either debunked or never proven, this Tamil Nadu case could be one of the first ones with actual evidence of fowl play.

Follow Shamani Joshi on Instagram.