This young boy has just been handed possibly the best thing a little boy could be handed – a lizard! The kid is gaga for this lizard and can not stop giggling over it. “You want the lizard?” asks dad, holding the little green guy in his hand. The kid excitedly reaches for it – and almost drops it. “Okay, you almost dropped it,” says Dad, “now here you go. Here’s the lizard.” He hands it over again and this time the kid takes it without dropping it. The kid laughs infectiously, grabbing the lizard by the head. “What does the lizard do?” asks Dad. The kid looks up, a huge smile on his face, and begins sticking his tongue in and out – just like a lizard! Clearly he knows a thing or two about amphibians! The kid then stares at the lizard with a funny look on his face. It’s about a few inches from his mouth and Dad realizes where this could be going. “Don’t eat him!” yells out dad, trying to head off a potentially Ozzy Osbourne-type experience where his kid bites the head off a lizard and he has to spend thousands in therapy. Fortunately, however, the kid listens to him and instead of gobbling him up just looks at him.
“Say ‘Hey Lizard!’” encourages dad, saying anything to take his kids mind off of eating it because you never know. The kid just stares at the lizard so the dad decides to go back to his Greatest Hits package and asks again “What does a lizard do?” Happily, the kid begins flicking his tongue in and out, the thought of devouring the lizard gone for the moment. “Wanna give him to daddy?” asks Dad, really trying to head off a lizard-eating disaster that could unfold at any moment. “No” says the kid, quite happy to hold on to the lizard and keep dad guessing as to what happens next. Godspeed, little green lizard. We wish you a happy ending.
So what does happen if you eat a lizard? The short answer is… don’t. A study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology shows that people can catch certain diseases (trichinosis, pentastomiasis, gnathostomiasis and sparganosis – and try saying any of those three times fast)) by eating the meat of reptiles such as crocodiles, turtles, lizards or snakes. The best way of killing any pathogens contained inside the lizard – ones that are harmful to human health – is to first freeze the meat, and then to later cook the meat, so eating it raw is wrong and dangerous on so many levels. But there are countries where lizard meat is eaten including South Africa, Belgium, France, Germany, and Holland.
We’re glad this kid didn’t chow down on the lizard and instead just held him while making impressions of one because the ultimate lizard insult is to make an impression of it right before you eat it.
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