Posted by: SM | January 10, 2008

Mary Had A Little Lamb, Until It Died On The BBC!

Welcome back to GTF everyone!

I wonder if anyone has been, like me, watching BBC’s Kill It Cook It Eat It. It really is car crash telly. The idea is as simple as it seems from the title. The show is recorded in an abattoir with a restaurant attached to it. The audience get to view the complete process of an animal slaughter and watch it being sliced, diced and cooked before getting the chance to either eat it or not. The audience is a mix of people, some lentil munching veggies are in attendance to tut disaprovingly at the event as it happens. Some think they will be okay as they watch, and some admit they are scared.

I have to say, I’ve enjoyed watching it. Not in a sick way, but I felt I should watch it because I do eat meat and I accept that the meat needs to be killed, and that this is the way it is done. The slaughter is clinical, professional and the staff really know what they are doing. Whilst I don’t think it’s all black and white, I do think that some of the reactions from the people on the show have been a little naive. Some of them seem to have a problem with the death of the animal because it is cute and that brings up interesting ideas about the line between pet and food, some eat lamb for instance but are not ready to accept that the animal dies to give you the food. I accept that, and cute as the lambs and other animals have been, they look nice when they are basted and ready to eat too.

One of the farmers said of their animals, that the lambs or pigs have a quality of life for however long they are with the farm, but that it is important not to forget that each animal is money for the farm and youth is important in things like calfes. It also showed me that what a lot of people think happens to the baby cows that go onto provide veal, is not actually the truth. The myth suggested that baby cows were kept in bad conditions and away from light, and anyone who watched this would have seen that in England anyway, nothing could be further from the truth.

The cows in the farm shown, were kept in good conditions and were supposedly happy – mainly because in England there are rules which aren’t followed in Europe. It really was an eye opener. It’s also weird to hear grown men and women talk about their animals living happy lives, happy I suppose until you remember that they end it by being stunned, hung, and sliced. Yes, happy for a few weeks, until, you know, death!

 However, I’m not about to tell anyone it is disgusting and that I have changed my mind after watching the slaughter. The programme has been educational to me. Good luck to any vegetarians who feel even stronger in their ideas as a result of it but the argument that ‘we can live without having to kill these animals’ doesn’t wash with me because there is a lot of stuff we as humans do that we don’t need to for survival.

Tonight’s programme was Milk Fed Lamb at 26 days old, apparently the youth of the animal makes the food a delicacy.

People do seem to have more of a connection to baby animals than the older ones, but I can see why people would have a negative reaction to babies being taken from their mother so young simply because it gives a different taste.

I reckon the difficulty lies in seperating the cute animal in the nursery rhyme from the one that hangs in the butcher. Might that be the reason that people buy shrink wrapped packaged meat – because it is the furthest away from the creature we have the attachment to?

The debate is interesting but for me I still like meat, it’s nice tasting and that isn’t an accident. Mary had a little lamb, past tense. She doesn’t have it any more because she killed it, cooked it and ate it.

Moulty x


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