Campaigners have slammed a new reality TV show which will see meat-eating families adopt an animal for three weeks - then either go vegetarian or send the animal to slaughter before cooking and eating them.
The creators of Meat the Family (Spun Gold TV), say the show will 'present surprising insights that challenge perceptions of why some animals become part of the family, and others end up on the plate'
Daniela Neumann, Managing Director at Spun Gold, said: "In this series, we confront some really timely themes of ethical eating in a unique and entertaining fashion.
"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? This is a series that will combine amazing research about animal intelligence with some heart-warming moments."
Nicola Brown, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual at Channel 4, added: "From environmental activism, to vegan sausage rolls the debate around eating meat and animal welfare is more prominent than ever before. Confronting the reality of an animal's journey from field to plate, Meat the Family will be a life-changing and emotional experiment for all involved."
But campaigners from vegan charity Viva! have branded the program 'frankly disturbing', in a statement sent to Plant Based News, which says the show 'is the absolute epitome of the way our society views farmed animals'.
"These sentient creatures are seen as nothing more than objects for our consumption and entertainment," said a spokesperson for Viva!. "Whether that is on our plates, or on our screens, Channel 4 has demonstrated a complete disregard for their autonomy and wellbeing.
"We can provoke discussions about the ethics of meat, without broadcasting animal cruelty to the nation – in the name of entertainment. The science is unanimous and the message is clear. We must all go vegan now to reverse the catastrophic damage caused by the meat and dairy industries. It is high time that Channel 4 get with the program."