MasterChef contestants were challenged to cook meals using meat obtained from animals including shark, deer, crocodile, and capybara.
MasterChef Ecuador has come under fire after it made its contestants use meat from endangered species on an episode aired on 3rd January.
The challenge required the contestants to cook their meals using meat obtained from animals including shark, deer, crocodile, and capybara.
All the four species belong to the wildlife and are in different categories of danger of extinction.
‘Use of wild animal parts could constitute a crime’
Animal welfare organization the National Animal Movement of Ecuador, known as Manimalistas (MAN), posted a clip of the episode on Twitter that appears to show slabs of meat placed on wooden cutting boards where each is individually labeled as “Tollo,” “Banilla,” “Venado,” and “Capibara.”
“Tollo” is a colloquial Ecuadorian term for types of shark, and is apparently referred to the humpback smooth-hound shark, according to news outlet Vice. The species is classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
“Banilla” is the name given to a type of crocodile, and “venado” and “capibara” both refer to venison and capybara respectively.
Esta promoción del uso de partes de animales silvestres podría constituir un delito, no solo en Ecuador, sino en Colombia. Los códigos penales de ambos países sancionan esto. #MasterTráfico #DelantalNegro pic.twitter.com/9yACutyoai— MANIMALISTAS ECUADOR (@MANimalistas) January 4, 2022
Calling out the reality-cooking show and its broadcaster Teleamazonas, MAN wrote in the caption: “This promotion of the use of wild animal parts could constitute a crime, not only in Ecuador, but also in Colombia. The criminal codes of both countries sanction this.”
According to animal welfare laws in these regions, consumption of these kinds of animals is illegal in Colombia (where the show was filmed) and prohibited in Ecuador except in cases of subsistence hunters.
The MasterChef team is yet to release an official statement with an explanation of where the meat of these animals came from. However, Carolina Sanchez, a co-judge on the program said the meat came from a farm.
But MAN representative Fernando Arroyo Avilés and farm animals specialist told the Insider that he believes it is “highly likely” that “MasterChef” producers acquired the meat through “questionable means.”
“When an influential international franchise like MasterChef promotes the use of wild animals as ingredients for an ‘exotic recipe,’ it is a punch in the gut for animal rights movements,” he said.
Viewers also reacted strongly to the show’s alleged use of wild animals.
“Terrible that they normalize the consumption of these little animals, when on the same channel they broadcast news about the impact of “incidental” fishing of sharks,” wrote one user.
“What hypocrisy. How to set an example of caring for ecosystems in danger if there is no respect for the life that is in those places?” another added.
Environmental government departments in Ecuador and Colombia have also released statements condemning the show for promoting the use of wild animals.
Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition said: “Safeguarding the integrity of wildlife, categorically rejects the promotion and dissemination of graphic or audiovisual content that encourages the purchase and consumption of wild species or their constituent elements, such as that presented in a program of national television, … exposes a situation that could lead to the illegal consumption of wild meat.”
Carlos Eduardo Correa, the environmental minister of Colombia tweeted that his department would initiate a proper investigation on the wild-game meat claims used in the program. “Wildlife trafficking and commercialization is a crime in Colombia,” he wrote.
The episode has since been removed from Teleamazonas’ YouTube account. Instead, an edited version that replaces the portion that purportedly showed the endangered-animal meat has been added.
Share this story: MasterChef Ecuador MasterChef Ecuador makes contestants use endangered animal meat in challenge: sparks outrage.
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
Vegan Nottingham student creates budget-friendly oat milk machine to reduce carbon footprint and combat rising prices
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 30th May 2023
The invention is sustainable and cost-effective. A vegan undergraduate studying product design at Nottingham Trent University has developed a container that can help people create their own oat milk at home for just 20 pence per litre. “Oatilicious,” provides significant cost savings compared to store-bought oat milk for up to £2.20 per carton. The innovative …
Continue reading “Vegan Nottingham student creates budget-friendly oat milk machine to reduce carbon footprint and combat rising prices”
Bear Grylls ’embarrassed’ by past vegan diet promotes meat, blood, and bone marrow for better health
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 15th May 2023
“I’ve tried to listen to my body more, tried to listen to nature, and I don’t miss vegetables at all. I don’t go near them, and I’ve never felt stronger, my skin’s never been better, and my gut’s never been better.” Adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls has become a die-hard carnivore fan after admitting …
Continue reading “Bear Grylls ’embarrassed’ by past vegan diet promotes meat, blood, and bone marrow for better health”
NEED A LAUGH?
All the quizzes you love to binge!
QUIZ: If you score 11/12 on this quiz, you’re a verified vegan food expert
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
Continue reading “QUIZ: If you score 11/12 on this quiz, you’re a verified vegan food expert”
QUIZ: What is your perfect Vegan Halloween Costume?
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
Continue reading “QUIZ: What is your perfect Vegan Halloween Costume?”
QUIZ: What kind of vegetable are you?
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …