The Great Cretaceous Debate: Would Dinosaurs Be Red Meat Or White Meat?

Growing up you are either a dinosaur child (cool) or an outer space child (lame, Jeff Bezos vibes). As a former dinosaur child and current dinosaur adult I think it’s high time we all stopped lying to ourselves. We need to admit there’s only one important question when it comes to dinosaurs. Would they be red meat or white meat?

This question came to me on a lonely Thursday night. I was sick with a cold, my housemate was mildly ~inebriated~ and we decided to watch Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. If you haven’t seen it, it’s got a peak-hot Brendan Fraser and teen Josh Hutcherson. They get sucked into the centre of the earth, there’s a T-Rex, it’s a whole thing.

But in the climax of the film my housemate turned and asked a question that has lingered with me morning, noon and night ever since. What sort of meat would dinosaur meat be?

Before we get into the stegosaurus of it all, let us lay out some important facts.

One: birds are descended from dinosaurs and birds are usually white meat. I understand therefore if your gut instinct is to argue that dinosaur is white meat.

However, we cannot forget fact two.

Two: I just know a hunk of T-Rex thigh would be a juicy, delicious steak. I can feel it in my heart.

The discussion was the source of such passionate debate between my housemate and I that I couldn’t let it go. I posed the question to the greatest receptacle of intelligence I know: my close friends story on Instagram.

Evidence Docket A) Asking the important questions.

As expected, it was a question that entranced and befuddled all who encountered it. Like many great scientific debates, the discussion failed to neatly answer my question. Rather, it brought a whole realm of new possibilities to mind.

For example, my friend who confidently replied “it’s like how duck is red meat”. That statement alone kept me up for 48 hours.

Others said it would be white like a giant slab of crocodile meat. I accepted this as a deeply reasonable answer but my heart still said red meat.

This question sparked debate outside of my Close Friends story too. I am now a dinosaur influencer (suck me off, Ross from Friends).

My friend Adele brought this question to her work colleagues. Their debate reveals the perils of the noble scientific quest for knowledge.

“Everyone immediately jumped to red meat,” she said.

“But after a long discussion, being ancestors of birds and thinking they’d be like crocodiles, we agreed on white meat.

“Someone raised an interesting point: what if they were pink meat, like pork?”

Red meat feels correct as an answer. As much as it pains me to admit it though, white meat is ultimately more logical. Like my esteemed colleague Courtney Fry pointed out, the dinosaurs = red meat bias most likely comes from The Flintstones propaganda machine.

What did emerge is a strong belief that different kind of dinosaurs would taste of different kinds of meat. My friend Iris made the case that flying dinosaurs would be white meat but others would taste like pork.

“Equally I think that cold water dinosaurs would have meat similar to seals,” she said, broadening the parameters of this question once more.

If any palaeontologists have an answer on this hot topic, please do slide into my DMs. And if anyone’s thinking about doing Jurassic Park in real life (side-eyeing you, post-break up Elon), I’m expecting an answer ASAP.