Environmentalist George Monbiot has sparked debate by skinning, butchering, cooking and eating a squirrel on live TV.
The Guardian columnist attracted criticism after revealing that he had eaten a roadkill squirrel, and later wrote a 2,360-word piece in the newspaper justifying his actions.
“There are millions of squirrels, rabbits, pigeons, deer that are killed every year, and a lot of them are landfilled,” Monbiot said on the BBC’s Newsnight as he butchered a squirrel bought from a farm shop.
“It doesn’t have to be. It’s not very nice! But meat production isn’t. But at least there’s no further ethical problem here.”
He continued: “I’m just cutting through the tail vertebrae – the tail bone in other words – but not the skin. It’s quite a delicate operation, that. A super-sharp knife, by the way.
“The cutting along a little bit each leg. This is a rather fat old squirrel – a lot of meat on it, but the older they are the tougher they get, so they do have to be marinated.”
It’s not the first time Monbiot has controversially grabbed the headlines, having had to make a £25,000 charity settlement with the late Lord McAlpine after wrongly implicating him in the North Wales child sex abuse scandal.
Monbiot issued a full and unreserved apology over a tweet sent to his 56,000 followers, which said: “I looked up Lord #McAlpine on t’internet. It says the strangest things. I can confirm that Lord #McAlpine was Conservative Party Treasurer when Mrs Thatcher was prime minister.”