- Julia Bradbury
Duration: 1 hour
Every year in the run up to Christmas, millions of birds are killed for yuletide dinner tables. In a huge national mass cull that begins in November and has a deadline of December 25th, more than 10 million turkeys and nearly half a million geese are slaughtered. Many of these will come from huge factory farms working intensely for this time of year.
Julia Bradbury examines our attitude to Christmas meat - where it comes from, how it is raised, how it gets to your plate and the history around our eating choices.
In a specially constructed restaurant-cum-studio built around a poultry abattoir unit, invited guests watch as the birds are brought in for killing. They are stunned, bled, de-feathered and gutted before their eyes by experienced professional slaughtermen. The birds are then butchered and part of their flesh is cooked and eaten in the studio by the audience.
Eight geese and turkeys are brought for slaughter from farms in Lancashire and Essex. The slaughter process continues as normal and each of the birds is checked by an inspector from the meat hygiene service, while a leading veterinary surgeon gives a running commentary of events.
The audience participates by eating some of the cooked poultry and discussing their attitudes to the trade in mass produced birds versus those from smaller farms.