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Why not eat cat stew?
Italian TV chef Beppe Bigazzi waxed poetic about the pleasures of eating cat — and lost his job because of it. Is cat meat so sacred?
 
Beloved pet or gustatory delicacy? Depends on who you ask.
Beloved pet or gustatory delicacy? Depends on who you ask.
Corbis

Cat stew, according to Italian celebrity chef Giuseppe "Beppe" Bigazzi, is an old Tuscan "delicacy" — and a pure pleasure to eat. But his enthusiastic on-air recommendation of cat meat — "better than chicken, rabbit, or pigeon" — has landed the 77-year-old in hot water with the Italian public, and amid a flood of outrage he's been fired from the popular cooking show he'd hosted for 10 years. Bigazzi has protested that he was referring to meals eaten "70 years ago," and that the furor is unwarranted. With stray cats being euthanized by the millions, is it really so shocking to suggest eating a few here and there? (Watch Beppe Bigazzi recommend eating cat)

Bigazzi is barbaric: Why would anyone "harm a cat, let alone eat one"? asks JoAnne Thomas in Right Cuisine. It's disgusting, and it's inhumane. Cats are in many ways "more 'human' than we are" — they sense danger better, and make better parents — and even thinking about "typing cat and recipe in the same sentence" makes me want to vomit. The Italians fired Bigazzi? "Good on them!"
"Cat casserole in Italy: Beppe Bigazzi cooks cats"

Cats are meat: The TV station was wrong to even ask Bigazzi to apologize, says Jason Sheehan in Seattle Weekly. Not only did he eat — and yes, enjoy — cat stew back "in the 1930s and 1940s," but cats are "made of meat," and thus "fair game in my book." Excluding them from the dinner table because they're "insanely cute little critters" runs in the face of a long, proud history of cat consumption.
"Cat stew: How to get fired as a food personality (with recipes!)"

Today, all meat is mystery meat: Like the Italian TV viewers, I'm "skeptical" about stewed cat, says Nadia Arumugam in True/Slant. But the brouhaha over Bigazzi's cat recipe raises a "larger and more profound problem" — in the age of cleaned, shrink-wrapped supermarket meat, we're too far removed from our food. If we were served stewed cat instead of, say, chicken or rabbit, most of us would be none the wiser.
"Italian TV chef axed over penchant for cat stew"

 

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