Eating house pets in the name of animal welfare is a quick way to raise the hackles of not only animal rights groups, but also the on-line community, a group of journalism students in Århus have discovered.
The group, all students at the Danish School of Journalism, had their Facebook accounts closed by the on-line community's administrators after they uploaded pictures of themselves cooking and eating a cat.
The meal had been intended as a way to shed light on the plight of food animals such as pigs and cows, but instead it has animal lovers hissing in protest.
'This is the worst way to draw people's attention to animal welfare,' said Ole Münster, director of animal welfare organisation Dyrenes Beskyttelse. 'The choice of a cat was an especially bad one, since we get most of our calls about them.'
Before ending up on the students' plates, the main course lived a life as a feral cat. It had been shot by a farmer trying to control the number of cats on his land.
According to the group, the cat was killed humanely and prepared by a professional chef. They said they had received a few raised eyebrows when plans of their meal slipped out, but were nevertheless surprised by people's reactions and were 'disappointed' that the profile was no longer accessible.
'We wanted people to think about what it was they were putting in their mouths,' said Laura Bøge Mortensen, a group member and the editor of Citat, a student magazine that carried an article about the meal.
'It's hypocritical for us to spend thousands of kroner on our pets, yet buy the cheapest pork from Netto that comes from pigs that have lived a horrid life. And just why is it that it's worse to eat a cat than a pig?'
And the taste: 'a little like chicken, with an aftertaste of fur. Slightly chewy,' the group found. (km)