You are unlikely to meet a vegetarian in the New Guinea Highlands. I know of no one who does not relish a meal of meat, preferably one high in fat. Few persons hesitate to kill and butcher animals for food when the opportunity presents itself. But such meals are uncommon. Instead the daily diet is largely a vegetable one in which some tuber crops predominate, notably sweet potato. A survey of household food consumption in the Southern Highlands suggests that under everyday circumstances only one in ten meals is likely to feature some local animal protein (Sillitoe 1983: 239). Even today with access to imported manufactured food, of which oily tinned ﬁsh is a favourite, few families consume meat or ﬁsh more than perhaps twice a week, including those with members elsewhere – largely in the Western Highlands – intermittently working as migrant labourers, who are the main source of cash remittances. Yet animals appear not to be scarce. Two features that immediately strike anyone who visits the Highlands are the forests and the pigs. The region known to me, like many others, has extensive montane forest that is home to a wide range of huntable wild animals. And one sees bristly wild-looking pigs everywhere in settled parts of valleys, people keeping sizeable herds. So why are these avid meat eaters more often eating meals of vegetables only?