New British reality show asks families to adopt, then cook and eat pet lamb or piglet

Photo: esvetleishaya (iStock)

It’s no longer entertaining enough to watch people cheat on their partners, dig out from under piles of trash, or get arrested on live TV—no, our damaged sensory nervous systems now require more spectacular breakdowns. And a new British reality show is happy to dish it up: Meat The Family, which asks meat-eating families to raise an animal for three weeks before they must decide whether to slaughter it or go vegetarian, debuts early next year.

The Guardian has more details on this heartwarming program, which will air on Channel 4. The cast members—which a casting call describes as “warm, opinionated families who will share their homes with an animal they would normally eat”—will raise an animal such as a lamb, chicken, pig, and calf. After three weeks, the family of “unrepentant carnivores” will have to let that animal not only go to slaughter, but cook and eat it—or they can choose to renounce their meat-eating ways. Presumably, producers don’t follow the family members for years after the taping to verify whether they’ve kept the vegetarian promise, but it’s still a pretty dramatic moral decision they’re facing.

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“It is not sex or drugs anymore. Meat is becoming the next taboo,” entertainment analyst Virginia Mouseler told The Guardian.

In theory, carnivores should be comfortable with the fact that meat comes from animals, even cute ones. It’s an entirely different thing, though, to stare down your family’s pet and then serve it for dinner. (Of course, some people might be entirely fine with it.)

I never thought we’d see the day that Real World, Rock Of Love, and Survivor seemed tame, yet here we are.

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Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.