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TV Batters Meat - Tune in Next Week - 02/01/2008
 
Watch out for next week’s bloody TV onslaught on the meat industry.
Watch out for next week’s bloody TV onslaught on the meat industry. The first of four more documentaries on BBC3 at 10.30 pm each evening from next Monday the 7th January in the Kill It, Cook It, Eat It series will “brutally demythologize” the meat-eating habit. Each program features a baby animal, the first on the suckling pig; on Tuesday goat kids; on Wednesday veal calves; on Thursday lambs; and on Friday a review of the new series. As if this isn’t enough to put fire in the bellies and facts in heads of campaigners we welcome on the website, the series should literally give pause to consumers who claim to love animals – roasted, fried, grilled, or minced.

And if some people think white meat is less disgusting Channel 4 is running its Four Season “to make us think about what we eat and how it’s produced.” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall starts with the premise that “chickens are the most abused animals on the planet” and in three programs from Monday next to Wednesday at 9pm each night; then on Thursday, also at 9pm on C4, Dispatches gives more of the Truth about your Food, demolishing claims made for many of the products. Supersize Me is an “engrossing Oscar-nominated documentary” on an experimental animal (a man) resolving to eat nothing but McDonald’s meals for a month “as part of an experiment to lift the lid on the fast-food industry.” The whole evening’s entertainment (and fascinating choice of advertising breaks) invites outbreaks of direbetes and other dire disorders, we think.

To complete the week on Channel 4 Jamie Oliver leaves the kitchen for a 35-minute escapade in the Big Food Fight season to examine Britain’s poultry in one of Jamie’s Fowl Dinners. He allots 35 minutes from 9 pm to host “a gala dinner which brings together consumers, producers, retailers, and experts, including Bill Oddie and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, to demonstrate how chickens and eggs are produced in this country and whether things need to change.” Some of us remember the late Ruth Harrison’s seminal book Animal Machines, published in 1964, followed by the Brambell Committee, and ultimately today’s Farm Animal Welfare Council, but billions of birds have suffered to this day – and continue to do so. We need evidence that the presenters and teams producing these TV programs are themselves convinced by their own evidence and explain to the public “out there” the merits and relevance of eating plans in our Portfolio of cruelty-free menus, with attested nutritional and environmental attributes. Descriptions of fish, game, and dairy production should clinch conversions to plant-based grow-food-not-feed ways of eating decently, with vigorous participation and invention by celebrity chefs.

And there’s even more for foodies in the evening of Friday, the 11th January, on Channel 4: a First Cut: Health Food Junkies, which explores the beliefs of the “raw foodists”, for whom the cooking of food “constitutes an act of nutritional vandalism.” It’s a half-hour program starting at 7.30 pm; Jamie’s Fowl Dinners follows at 9pm. The thought of a late-night steak tartare is enough to bring on a salmonella or E. coli O157- driven bout of what old doctors would neatly describe as a great griping of the guts. We wish all our visitors a eupeptic New Year.
 
 
 

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