New Channel 4 show sees families adopt an animal before sending it to slaughter if they refuse to give up meat

Read Time:   |  16th October 2019

A new three-hour long Channel 4 programme, Meat The Family, will confront “the reality of an animal’s journey from field to plate.”

meat the family channel 4

Photograph: Getty Stock Photo

A new three-hour long Channel 4 programme, Meat The Family, will confront “the reality of an animal’s journey from field to plate” by asking three meat-loving families to adopt an animal for three weeks before sending it to slaughter if they refuse to stop consuming meat at the end of the experiment.

In order to make the families truly confront the reality of consuming animals, they will also be asked to cook and eat the animal they have raised during the previous weeks if they decide to continue to eat meat and send the animal to slaughter. If they decide to give up eating meat the animal will be taken to an animal sanctuary.

Airing in the New Year, Meat The Family will see four heavy meat-eating families adopt an “animal which ends up most often on their plates” such as a lamb, a pig, a chicken and a calf which will feature in the first episode.

Timely themes

According to Channel 4, the show will examine “animal behaviour and intelligence, the farming practices required to meet the demands of hungry consumers … and the environmental impact of the meat industry.”

Daniela Neumann, head of the programme’s makers Spun Gold, defended the premise of the show, saying it was taking on “some really timely themes of ethical eating” as consumers move away from meat to plant-based alternatives and well as asking difficult questions.

“Why do we find it acceptable to eat a lamb but we wouldn’t eat our pet dog? Could you go back to meat once you’ve put a name and face to a meal?”

meat the family channel 4

Transgressive

Speaking at MIPCOM, the world’s biggest entertainment market in Cannes, Analyst and founder of the The Wit database, Virginia Mouseler, said the show was set to be “the most transgressive” of the year.

“The question they are asking is how can you cuddle your dog while you are putting another animal in the oven? They have to treat this animal like a member of the family for three weeks Then in the end they have to decide whether they put it in the oven,” she added.

Meat The Family will air on Channel 4 in the New Year.

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