Popular TVN reality show Junior Masterchef has been subject to a torrent of complaints regarding its latest episode, during which children were asked to grab hold of live birds in the studio.
The much criticised segment was intended to introduce the child contestants to the type of poultry that they would be cooking with in the next activity. However in the name of entertainment, the kids were asked to hold the birds in their arms, which prompted scenes that proved uncomfortable for both the animals and the children.
In two cases the birds started to violently flap their wings to escape the clutches of the kids and the presenters, much to the amusement of some of the other people in the studio. Poland's Society For The Prevention To The Cruelty Of Animals did not find it funny though, and the organisation promptly contacted the prosecutor's office in order to take action against the show.
Although none of the animals filmed on the show were actually killed, the aforementioned segment stirred up plenty of controversy. According to Radio ZET Chili, some of the reaction on TVN's social media pages has been as follows:
How sad. From an early age teaching a child cruelty to animals. They are not toys! Does TVN know what hypocrisy is?
So cruel, even sadistic. How can suggest you familiarize yourself with an animal and then kill it? It's like a child buying a puppy, falling in love with it and then saying "today i'll kill it."
How can you allow this tormenting of the animals! What is wrong with you?
While the unnecessary cruelty towards the animals drew widespread criticism, some internet users did praise TVN for educating children the hard facts about where their food comes from. The comment below, also taken from the Radio Zet article, was typical of this opinion:
I do not approve of disturbing the animals in the recording studio, but the outrage about the children having to cook the meat of live animals they knew is simply ridiculous. Children should know how to take meat, and adults as well. If someone feels sorry for chickens, ducks or turkeys, then let them be vegetarian, and if they wants to continue to eat meat let them be an informed consumer and not a hypocrite.
Were TVN in the wrong? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.