Sadly, the numbers of Maple Reindeer declined rapidly once European settlers came to Canada and hunted the reindeer unmercilessly. The last reindeer died in 1876. Settlers tried to simulate the taste and texture of the meat by soaking beef in maple syrup, but this resulted in a sickly sweet, chewy texture that only really satisfied people who were used to chewing tobacco and wanted a sweet-tasting alternative that wasn’t addictive.

This is an extract from the book Animals Evolution Avoided