Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

TV chef defends eating puppy meat

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall spent more than five months being a vegetarian for a TV series

TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has declared that eating puppy meat is no more morally objectionable than consuming pork.

The River Cottage star has spent more than five months being a vegetarian for his latest series of the TV show and has penned non-meat recipes for a new cookbook.

Fearnley-Whittingstall, 46, has eaten placenta pate, curried fruit bat, giraffe and calf testicles in the past.

Asked whether he would try loin of Labrador or cat liver, he told the Radio Times: "Not unless I was on the point of starvation.

"In principle, but not in practice, I have no objection to a high-welfare organic puppy farm.

"You can't object, unless you also object to the farming of pigs. It's an artificial construct of our society, a cultural decision, to make pets out of dogs and meat out of pigs.

"Both animals could be used the other way round, although pigs probably do make better meat than dogs and dogs better pets than pigs, but it's not a foregone conclusion."

Asked whether his vegetarianism was a gimmick to write another book in his £1.9 million publishing deal, he told the magazine: "That money is for a series of eight or nine River Cottage handbooks, which I don't write, so the money is shared.

"But I don't think we're gimmicky. I started by looking at where food came from, rearing our animals and growing our food."

The chef, who has campaigned for sustainable fish and has highlighted issues surrounding the mass production of chickens, said: "That's what we're still doing. I hope we have an influence and like to think we're driving the agenda."

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