We’ve come a long way since living in the caves.
But still, yes. The answer is yes.
I’m a man. I’m a hunter. It’s in my DNA.

The question is: would I -myself- be able to kill the animal that’s on my dinner plate tonight?
Yes, I would.
No really, as easy as that.

Hey, I’m a man. I’m a hunter. It’s in my DNA.
Within a blink of an eye I could kill a goat or a sheep or a pig to later eat it.

That is, of course, I would surely show respect to nature and to the animal that I ‘m holding down with my left hand. I would calm it down. Talk to it. Soothe it. And just before the self-assured kill I would thank it for feeding my loved ones and myself, maybe even some others in town. Then yes finally but thoroughly making a swift move with my knife. The one my father gave me and that I sharpen every weekend when I’m a few hours in the shed.
Sure, I’m able to do all that. It’s in my DNA.

Then slowly but surely and very peacefully the animal would die in my hands. Not long after that I’d have to skin it. It’s a matter of minutes, really. An easy job. And just part of the circle of life thing. How else does it end up on our plates?

Well maybe if I have an off day, I’d probably ask my brother to end the animal’s life. Or maybe the friendly big chubby guy from the bookstore at the corner of the street. He seems very in touch with nature. Or perhaps his nephew from the other side of town. He’s a cook. The nephew he said that has the biggest hands he ever laid his eyes on. The hands that used to help him out in the store. It’s very useful to have big hands when you work in a bookstore. I’m pretty sure those hands are very useful being a cook as well. Or a butcher for that matter.

How does a butcher do it, anyway? Doing that every day all day? Cutting nice pieces of meat from a dead animal. Well, it’s just a job of course. And a respectful job, I might say. I love my piece of meat for dinner. I like my chicken roll as well. Or the pulled pork sandwich my girl brings from the market almost every Saturday.

Indeed, we scarcely question where our food (and all our groceries) come from. At least, I scarcely think about it. After a long day at work I wander into the supermarket and just toss whatever I find attractive at that moment into my cart. You never really think about the industry that’s behind it and how it all works, how it all ends up in the supermarket. I’m just tired from work and hopefully will find the quickest way through the aisles.

When you think about it you do hope that the food we eat isn’t part of a mindless industry. That it isn’t about just making money the quickest way.
Yes, that’s also men. Or mankind. We are hunters for money. It’s probably in our DNA. Then again, you can probably say that about almost every industry. We all want money the quickest way.

But yeah, I’ve seen the pictures of how animals are treated poorly. And when you think about it some more then yes, I’m all for a (more) respectful way of breeding and killing the animals that feed us. We really should be more aware of what we put in our mouths and how it gets on our plates. I don’t think there’s anyone who disagrees with that, really. You are what you eat. Eat well.

So yes, we have become a little disassociated with where our food comes from. Maybe it would be different if we would be more in touch with the animals we kill. If we would be reminded more of what it is we’re actually eating. And we are eating meat every day the whole day.

And so, that’s how our new show Travel with a Goat came about. Getting more in touch with the food you eat. Literally. And how better to get in touch with it then to take care of the animal that will be turned into meat? Into the meat you will eat tonight.

So here we are. This is our series that is launching on Insight TV today, 14th January 2019: Travel with a Goat, a 5 x 44-minute show where you’ll see two international foodies from two different countries meet for the first time and travel across country. However, they’re not alone on their journey; they have to travel with an animal that was bred for the slaughterhouse.

Throughout their four-day journey they spend time nurturing the animal while discussing how local cultures slaughter their food and the effect of meat eating in the wider world. At the end of the journey they will have to make a very difficult decision. Will the animal they’ve now grown attached to be slaughtered as was its destiny? Or will it be saved? Will they give it freedom (or whatever that means for an animal that is destined to be slaughtered) or will they feast on their appetite?

The global foodies we asked to participate were all very curious about the journey they would have. Especially the journey within themselves obviously. Most of them work with meat every day for their YouTube channels and blogs and vlogs. And the outcome is impressive. You will get an insight into all their thoughts along the way and their tough decisions at the end of their trip.

The foodies include: Sophie Faldo (winner of the 2017 series of The Great British Bake Off); Abraham Bandera Baez (Senior Cheeto); Alla Driksne (Alla’s Yummy Food); Niels Oosthoek (Gierige Gasten); Stefan Gates (The Gastronaut); Julie Nolke (Feeling Peckish); and Natalie Mortimer (The Modern Proper) to name a few.

Each episode sees them travel through stunning locations in Italy, Bulgaria, Peru, Thailand and Kenya with a different animal, including a goat, an alpaca, a sheep, a donkey and a pig.

With our series we obviously do not aim to endorse a particular perspective on the ethics of consuming meat. It’s just about experiencing the journey and giving the audience food for thought. And obviously this topic could be food for thought for other discussions as well. Wider discussions like the environment.

Experts have consistently said that eating less meat – lot less meat – is one of the key factors in reducing carbon emissions. Scientists say avoiding consuming meat and dairy is the “single biggest way to reduce the environmental impact on the planet”.

Sir David Attenborough is even taking it a step further. Our all-time favourite naturalist recently said, “We’re facing a manmade disaster of global scale from our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinctions of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

I’m not sure we should take it that far. For now, I’ll leave all that to scientists and governments or multinationals or whoever is making these large-scale decisions and just hope they will make the right ones. I’m sure they do it all the time. I’m sure it’s not all about money and power. They have children and grandchildren themselves.

Anyway, let me just start with myself and my personal decisions. Experiencing making this series I have more respect for what I eat. Yes, more respect for nature and the animal that once lived and with that for the juicy pulled pork sandwich I sometimes put my teeth in. It is an awesome taste. I now even silently thank the pig (that once was) for feeding me. With a smile on my face. And with enjoying it more I’ll maybe eat less meat overall. Just being more aware is great and maybe will also help the overall environment issue.

Frank le Mair

Frank le Mair

Frank has over 20 years’ experience in factual, drama, infotainment and gameshows and has worked for a number of major production companies in the Netherlands. At Insight TV, Frank leads the production team to develop industry-leading creative concepts. Key shows he has produced include Travel with a Goat, THRU, MTB Heroes and many more.