The following is a re-post of a blog that I wrote on my myspace page a few years back. I thought I'd re-post it here seeing as the revolting 'Kill it, cook it, eat it' franchise has recently made a return to BBC3.
I just blew my chance to be on BBC3.
Current mood: enraged
Category: Pets and Animals
Current mood: enraged
Category: Pets and Animals
I just received the following e-mail:
I am working on a TV series for BBC3 called Kill It Cook It Eat It. I came across your name while scouring the internet to find poets or perfomers who might make great contributors to the recording, next Wednesday in Oldham. I would love to have a chat with you as soon as possible about the possibility of you coming along to the recording of this episode, which will actually be the Christmas programme. This would just be about whether it is something that you would be interested in contributing to, or at least hearing more about.
Here is a little more detailed information for you.
'Kill it Cook it Eat it' takes a serious and balanced look at Britain's attitudes towards meat and it's consumption. It is not just an excuse to be controversial. The project involves an in-depth look at the provenance of the meat we eat – from the field to the fork - and each programme brings together two moments that the meat-loving public has conveniently separated: the death of the animal and the consumption of its meat.
The specially invited group of contributors will have the opportunity to see for themselves the process that puts food on their plates. Through insert films and commentary they will follow the life and death of an animal and in a specially converted abattoir, they will witness the skill of the slaughter man and butcher as the animals' destiny is fully realised.
The first series of 'Kill It Cook It Eat It' was very well received by the BBC3 audience, prominent members within the meat industry, experts and contributors - including vegetarians - who took part. In this second series we will again be addressing all elements of the meat industry from farm to fork and will provide accurate, interesting and informative facts about meat. We are addressing farming, slaughter and butchery in the hope to better connect consumers with their food.
The 'Christmas episode' will be recorded next Wednesday, September 12th in Oldham. We would absolutely love to include the opinions and reactions of vegetarians and hope that a performance poet who is also a vegetarian might be able to communicate some of these particularly well. We are looking for someone who would be able to uniquely articulate their views and those of other vegetarians / guests. We believe that a young poet would be much better able to engage with our viewers than many of the academics and industry experts who, although incredibly well informed, may not be as in tune with our audience.
Have you written any poems about vegetarianism and or meat / eating meat / christmas? If you are available and interested, do you think you might be able to write a poem about the day and your feelings / reactions to events witnessed and perform it at the end of the day?
I'm so sorry for the late notice, but we were only notified very recently that the BBC also wanted a 'Christmas episode'. Due to the unique arrangement of filming in a purpose-built studio, next to an abattoir, we have very little time to put this special programme together, so that it can be recorded with the second series.
I really do hope that you will want to take part and can make yourself available.
My direct line has still not been activated, so please call me on my mobile or email me and I will call you straight back.
Firefly Film and Television Productions Ltd
Here's my reply:
You must be fucking joking. I'd rather stick pins in my eyes. Are you seriously suggesting that I come along to an abattoir so that you can increase the ratings for the cultural cess pit that is BBC3? I now find myself agreeing with John Humphreys re. the future of your channel.
You are being disingenuous and cynical when you describe your show in the following terms:
'Kill it Cook it Eat it' takes a serious and balanced look at Britain's attitudes towards meat and it's [sic] consumption. It is not just an excuse to be controversial. The project involves an in-depth look at the provenance of the meat we eat – from the field to the fork - and each programme brings together two moments that the meat-loving public has conveniently separated: the death of the animal and the consumption of its meat.
Most intelligent people know where their food comes from and they make personal choices about what they eat based on that knowledge. You say that your aim is to inform consumers. That's bollocks. You don't need the gimmick that is an abattoir next to a restaurant in order to discuss the meat industry. This is just sensational telly for apathetic townies who neither know nor care about the origin of their food. Slaughtering animals on TV seems to be the latest ratings grabber and I for one don't wish to be a part of it. What with Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey et al slaying whole farm yards on camera and the rash of faux explorers who think that eating anything that moves makes them intrepid, the whole death of an animal on camera thing has been done to death (no pun intended). So please, make it stop.
You also say: We are looking for someone who would be able to uniquely articulate their views and those of other vegetarians / guests. My vegetarianism is a personal choice and I represent no-one but myself in this. I try my best not to evangelise - like I said, informed adults are capable of making choices for themselves.
You also say: In this second series we will again be addressing all elements of the meat industry from farm to fork. If you addressed these issues in the first series, why do you need to do so again? For titillation perhaps? Everything about this show is offensive and disrespectful to the animals involved. The title alone is just tacky.
Also, I can't help but think that having a performance poet railing against the meat industry will only serve to make vegetarians and poets look like a bunch of reactionary twats. Or perhaps that's the intention.
Finally, don't believe everything you read on myspace. I really don't think that I qualify as the voice of 'yoof'. However, do let me know if there are any vacancies on 'Grumpy Old Women'. Joking aside, I'm really quite disgusted, offended, and as you can probably tell, angered by your inquiry.
P.S. And I don't celebrate Christmas.
So, veggie poets, do you think I did the right thing? I particularly like the question:
I did once write a poem about Christmas...when I was ten. I also ate a rabbit pie when I was ten, but that's another story and it won't be appearing on BBC3.