TV cook's 'eat badger' suggestion chokes cull protesters
Broadcaster and food writer Clarissa Dickson Wright has made fur fly after suggesting that Britons should eat badgers.
The former star of TV's Two Fat Ladies said she enjoyed eating the creatures – now a protected species – when she was younger, and believes people should consume the bodies of animals which are killed as a result of culling.
Her comments have drawn condemnation from Queen star and badger campaigner Brian May, who dismissed her views.
Badgers have recently come under scrutiny amid fears they may spread TB to cattle, which has led to the issue of a cull licence in Gloucestershire.
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Miss Dickson Wright, who has championed country sports, said we should eat the animals.
"It would solve the problem. There's going to be a cull, so rather than just throw them in the landfill site why not eat them?" she said.
"There are too many badgers. It's very interesting – the reason at certain times of the year you see so many dead badgers on the road is that the badgers throw out their old and ill that aren't going to survive the winter.
"I would have no objection to eating badgers. I have no objection to eating anything very much, really."
Miss Dickson Wright, who has just published her new book Clarissa's England, said centuries ago the badger had been widely consumed. And when she was younger it was still a popular bar snack.
"It was a staple food of the population, well before rabbit because rabbit was a luxury food," she said. "Rabbit in the middle ages cost a man a week's wages for a single rabbit. People ate badger because badger was plentiful."
Prior to the introduction of protection laws, she said she had eaten barbecued badger and fillet of badger. "When I was a teenager most of the pubs in the Westcountry had badger hams on the bar just like a jamon iberico. And it was delicious. It tasted like young wild boar."
She has even suggested cooking methods for the animals.
"Either make a ham or treat it like pork – very lean pork because it's got no fat on it. Baste it properly and marinade it properly and cook it in a casserole or whatever."
Brian May, who has spent many months mobilising efforts against the cull, was unimpressed by her "senseless" views. He said: "I think we should seriously consider eating senseless people like this Clarissa whoever-she-is."