‘Meat the family’ Fails to Meet Reality | Viva! - The Vegan Charity
‘Meat the Family’ Fails to Meet Reality

Channel 4 has announced a disturbing new reality TV show where families must decide whether to eat the animal they’ve adopted.

In a bid to confront “the reality of an animal’s journey from field to plate,” Channel 4 is asking meat-eaters to adopt an animal for three weeks before deciding whether the animal will be killed, cooked and eaten by the family, or sent to an animal sanctuary.

This treatment of the animal’s life as disposable for entertainment is an absolute abuse of power. The animal is reduced to nothing more than a commodity that can be cruelly cut short if the family decides to do so.

The show claims it is addressing one of the most pressing issues in society, eating meat, but given they allow the animal to die and be eaten at the end, it seems nothing more than using an animal’s life to attract viewers.

Imagine a reality TV show based on whether someone could kill and eat their adopted dog or cat. This would be labelled as sick animal abuse and banned from our screens, yet when it is a sheep, cow or pig it is simply weekday entertainment.

Not to mention this show gives a totally false image of animal farming in the UK and beyond. Two-thirds of farmed animals are raised in factory farming, never seeing the outdoors or receiving any kind of love from a human or each other. This show maintains the idyllic image of cows frolicking in fields we see on Red Tractor adverts and fails to mention that most farmed animals only come in contact with humans when it’s time for breeding or slaughter.

If Channel 4 is truly interested in “the reality of an animal’s journey from field to plate”, they should be conducting investigations of animal farms in the UK, where animals are routinely forced to live in filthy squalor until their time for slaughter comes. Asking a family to look after a sentient being with the same capacity to love and feel pain as their cat or dog is clearly a far cry from the reality of animal farming in the UK.

Not only this, but we are in the midst of an environmental emergency. Animal agriculture is causing more greenhouse gas emissions than all the transport on earth combined, yet for some reason, Channel 4 has decided to broadcast animal cruelty to discuss the topic rather than discuss the ethics and environmental arguments in a compassionate way. It’s hard to see how this show appropriately addresses the crisis caused by animal agriculture, despite claiming it is tackling this societal issue.

The message is clear: we must all go Vegan Now to prevent environmental collapse. On Friday 1 November, we are asking everyone to go vegan for 24 hours. Join us in this simple but bold statement to show veganism can save the planet. Find out more at viva.org.uk/world-vegan-day.

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