by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Film/TV
Tags: .

beppeBeppe Bigazzi, a popular TV Chef in Italy, was recently suspended from the cooking show La Prova del Cuoco (the Cook’s Challenge) after telling viewers how they could best cook a cat.

He told viewers to prepare cat meat by soaking it in a stream for three days to tenderize it and then cook it in a stew.

“I can assure you, it’s a delicacy – now I am going to get lots of letters,” he said.

Yes, he did. And phone calls too. So many people were outraged that the 76-year-old Bigazzi was suspended from the show. “I was just trying to explain a saying from where I come from about the eating of cats,” he added. “In the 1930s and 1940s, they were very popular.” In Italy, killing and cooking cats is illegal under a 1991 law and punishable by up to 18 months in jail.

Call me a horrible person, but how is this any different from suggesting the best way to cook a cow, turkey, pig, or any other creature? Are they not as intelligent as cats or capable of emotion? Like most things, it shows how emotionally tied we are to one species but completely blind to the plights of others. How many of those “outraged activists” you think went home and ate a hamburger that night?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • kristin

    you are not a horrible person – you are a realist. i have the same problem, when people use cultural relativism to say that eating one animal is disgusting but another is acceptable. if you like eating cow, who knows? cat might be delicious! meat is meat, period. the biggest example of this in the US, to me, was the Michael Vick scandal – people outraged at how he treated his dogs, which was bad, but certainly no worse than what cows, chickens and pigs suffer in factory farms.

    • Dgredy

      i kind of agree with u.. i dont understand they get so mad about him eating a cat but mena while they love veal(sad sad sad)im a vegetarian and pigs and cows should have the same protection then dogs and cats have.. they all feel the same pain.. and about michael vick u should never use him as an example he is an idiot..

    • Chastity

      Totally agree. It’s speciesist and it’s also lazy, LAZY activism. Actually, it’s not even activism. It’s easy to boycott something that isn’t a part of your life but when it comes to pigs, chickens, cows and others who are eaten (take your pick of cultural delicacy), everyone gets pissed when the activists (like myself) point it out.

  • Mikey

    Many domesticated animals have taken advantage of out strong affiliative nature and thrived. That some species get a pass doesn’t *necessarily* mean all species should get a pass… does it?. Not saying you’re wrong.

    • Rob

      That’s confused. Species are not individuals.

  • m4rk0

    right on kristin

  • Rad_Rosa89

    Blagh! I’m glad he got suspended!!
    There is no difference between eating chicken, cows, or cats, and dogs.
    I wish people would realize this..

  • don miguelo

    Well, from your original post, it seems like regular watchers were calling in, not vegan superhero activists. Yes, it would be ironic and say something about the movement towards an ethical diet if there is an ingrained double-standard, but they did make the calls and got him suspended. Now we can do the work of trying to make that happen with all species– if that’s what you meant.

  • deena

    I can’t wait to meet my creator and ask about eating animals and abortion and religion and all of these questions that I cannot get my head around.
    It really isn’t fair that factory farmed animals suffer so much more than pets. There’s a baby pig posted on cuteoverload recently that makes me wish I didn’t used to love bacon.
    Including a pet in a recipe is asking for trouble though.

  • herwin

    typical case of the glass is halfful or half empty. i myself am happy that ordinary people protest against this and i wouldnt shove them away with a smart ass attitude like they probably eat hamburger tonight. and about these laws, AT LEAST they protect SOME animals from being killed for meat and a life in horrible conditions (factory farming). Its a good start.
    And yeah, thats a no brainer, cats, dogs and our pets are not smarter or dont have more feelings than pigs, cows and chickens and fish, and all should be protected equal.

  • sholom

    i got a better idea why don’t we all not eat meat at all, why don’t we start eating soya or become vegetarians? lol

  • Kimitake Hiraoka

    Remarkable how different the reactions are to a story about Italians eating cats and a story about Japanese eating whales.

    When it’s Italians eating cats it’s all “there’s no difference between cats and cows and sheep and pigs” and “farm animals suffer more” etc.

    But when it’s Japanes eating whales its “you murdering Jap scum time for more atomic bombs”.

    Seems Paul Watson’s years of inciting racial hatred have really paid off.

    • From MN, with hope…

      Leave it in the SSCS threads. I have rephrained from calling the whalers japaneses because it inspires racial hatred. I try to stay clear of that.

      YOU CANT COMPARE WHALES (cats in this case) TO COWS, CHICKEN, or PIGS. They are raised for consumption. Even so, many of us are going to go vegan because we have had a sudden reality, and dont like the reality that cows/chicken/pigs are still live animals with emotions. Cats on the other hand… I love them. I am guilty of being a cat person. Simple as that.

      Again, leave it in the SSCS threads.

      • Chastity

        “YOU CANT COMPARE WHALES (cats in this case) TO COWS, CHICKEN, or PIGS. They are raised for consumption.”

        They’re all nonhuman animals who deserve to be left alone and to live in peace–and not “humane” peace. To turn a blind eye to that fact would be speciesist. This isn’t me insulting you, this is me referring to the truth that many people wince at.

    • may

      The reactions by who? Westerners? are you generalising about a whole group of people? Pot kettle black.

      Anyway I’m pretty sure that cats, cows sheep and pigs are not endangered nor are they chased for miles and killed with what is in essence a big metal spike. That would be the difference and thus the reason behind the different reactions.

      I really don’t care, personally, eat what you like just don’t eat my cat.

  • ariel

    Hi! I’m Italian…
    We sent so many emails and kicked up a real fuss about it
    that at the end they had to suspend him

    In my (our, vegans) opinion there isn’t any difference between a cat and a cow, but not in the sense that you can eat both of them, and this was the message of this guy


  • Jae

    Manufactured cultural intolerance.
    The 1991 law just shows how unecological the animal rights clowns are.
    We’re i the middle of a food diversity crisis and an overpopulation of wildlife decimating cats.
    Why not allow people to eat them?

    Reinstate Beppe Bigazzi!

  • VeggieTart

    No, you aren’t a horrible person. I was just thinking the same thing. It’s called carnism when people who are upset over some guy cooking cats and another guy running a dogfighting ring think nothing of eating cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, and sea animals. People are conditioned to see some animals as food and others as, well, friends. This is how someone can be outraged over Japan-sanctioned whale hunting but go home and eat other sea creatures. Or maybe visit an aquarium to watch Shamu do his tricks.

    • herwin

      i think most people, at least myself, would agree with you. :-)
      but for me, the fact that many people at least see some animals as “friends” and can get involved in at least defending cats, offers some hope that these people can later also start to think about the animals that they eat, because i agree with you, they eat without thinking anything about it. They dont eat animals because the hate animals, eh. they just dont think about it.
      i am curious to know do you think it was a good thing that many people mailed to protest against this cook cooking cats ?

      Also, do you think that ONLY completely vegan person has a moral right to protest against fur, whaling, factory farming, etc.

      Because the same arguments can be said to anyone that is agianst fur, etc, but maybe visit an aquarium once in a while, just to name something..