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New British Reality Show Asks Families to Eat Their Pets on Camera

In the first four episodes of the show, a chicken, a calf, a lamb, and a pig are each given to one of four different meat-eating families.

by Jelisa Castrodale
Oct 16 2019, 9:07pm

Photo: Getty Images

Last week, a Norwegian teenager shared two Facebook pics of her horse, Drifting Speed. In one, the horse was wearing a braided headband and seemingly staring directly into the camera lens. In the other, Drifting Speed had been killed, fileted, and cooked to a perfect medium rare.

Eighteen-year-old Pia Olden said that Drifting Speed had to be put down due to an illness last year, and her family had frozen the horse meat. In the now-deleted post, Olden said that she was driven by her "chef heart" to cook the horse with red chiles and sliced mango, and to serve Drifting Speed as the main entree at the farm where they'd both been raised. "This was my way of honoring her," she said, according to Dagbladet. "It's not better for the meat to be buried and eaten by the worms."

Olden removed the post after she started receiving death threats. If she's ready to venture back online, maybe she should get in touch with British TV network Channel 4.

AFP reports that the network has filmed a new hour-long reality show called Meat the Family, a program that involves giving a farm animal to a family who will raise it, name it, and presumably grow to love it before being asked to kill and eat it.

“They have to treat this animal like a member of the family for three weeks,” analyst Virginia Mouseler said of the premise. "Then in the end they have to decide whether they put it in the oven” or whether it goes to an animal sanctuary.

In the first four episodes of the show, a chicken, a calf, a lamb, and a pig are each given to one of four different meat-eating families who have to decide what they'll do with the animal. If they agree to amend their carnivorous habits, their temporary adoptee will be spared, but if they don't, it will be slaughtered—and they're the ones who will have to see it on the end of their forks.

"Why do we find it acceptable to eat a lamb but we wouldn’t eat our pet dog?" Daniela Neumann of Spun Gold, the production company behind the show, asked. "Could you go back to meat once you’ve put a name and face to a meal?” (Clearly, Neumann has never eaten a Fudgie the Whale cake face-first.)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Spin Gold didn't ask either of those questions in its casting call for the show. "We’re looking for warm, opinionated families who will share their homes with an animal they would normally eat (i.e. a chicken/lamb)," that listing read. "For three weeks they’ll learn all about the animals whilst living up close and personal with them!" (What the listing didn't say was that after that, it all goes to shit.)

Regardless, Meat the Family is scheduled to air sometime in early 2020 and it is expected to "go international quickly." It sounds like one Norwegian has already passed her audition.

Tagged:
meat
animal welfare
cows
vegetarian
lamb