Using wild animals as food is controversial, but remains a widespread practice globally, and in some places wild meat is fundamental for food security. Hunting wild animals for food is widely unsustainable and in many places is driving alarming declines, particularly of large mammals. In general this occurs under governance regimes that fail to provide any practical incentives to users to limit their exploitation and develop sustainable management. However, use of wild species for food alongside other values can underpin successful models of robust and sustainable management - these depend on developing both clear incentives and adequate capacity to enable sustainable use. Even where such management regimes are in place, however, these can fall hostage to the vagaries of international animal protection campaigning efforts. This is explored through considering Inuit hunting of polar bear in Canada.