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Someone Skinned And Cooked A Squirrel On TV And People Are Losing Their Shit

Everyone's gone NUTS, you might say. Warning: this post contains squirrel butchery.

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If you missed Newsnight on Thursday, you missed this: A man skinning, cooking and eating a squirrel.

Why? Guardian columnist and environmental campaigner George Monbiot wrote on Thursday of how he cooked and ate a dead squirrel he found while camping.

Naturally, Newsnight invited him on to do a Nigella Lawson impression, but with roadkill.

Let's just say it wasn't quite what people were expecting from a current affairs TV programme.


I haven't watched Newsnight for a while, and now, when I do, they appear to be skinning and cooking a squirrel

Just watching Newsnight.... @GeorgeMonbiot's hacking at a squirrel carcass with an axe. #Thursdays

Some viewers wondered if they were dreaming.

Was it a fever dream or did I see George Monbiot butchering a squirrel on Newsnight?

I *think* I've just seen a dead squirrel skinned on Newsnight. By George Monbiot. Or I could be having a weird dream

It had the air of a Chris Morris spoof.

The current squirrel feature on Newsnight is like something out of Brass Eye.

George Monbiot chopping up a squirrel with an axe while @mrjamesob deadpans about lemon marinades pure Brass Eye - glorious #Newsnight

On the other hand, some were impressed by Monbiot's axe-work.

A man cooking squirrel on Newsnight,deft use of an axe in his prep work

Not everyone was against the idea of eating squirrel, but some would draw the line at picking one up off a country road.

I would probably eat a well sourced squirrel but I'm not sure I would pick up roadkill #newsnight

Others are waiting for the zombie apocalypse before considering it.

Come the apocalypse, I'll eat squirrel all day long. Until then, it's a not on your life from me. #Newsnight

More than one person picked up on the fact that Monbiot and presenter James O'Brien were enjoying the animal in the most Silence of the Lambs way possible, with a "nice Chianti".

#Newsnight I am going to eat your squirrel with a nice Chianti

Meanwhile, Newsnight's deputy editor got some suggestions for future members of the commentariat who should appear on the show cooking weird food.

After Monbiot cooks squirrel, pls send your future commentator + recipe combo requests for #newsnight to @BreakwellNeil

@sundersays @xtophercook @BreakwellNeil David Starkey making seagull casserole.

@adskesson @xtophercook @BreakwellNeil I'd go for #newsnight doing a remake of Cocktail with Jeremy Corbyn

@EliotAndersen @sundersays @xtophercook @BreakwellNeil Ken Livingstone makes use of his newts?

Away from the theatre of watching a man cook a squirrel of late night TV, Monbiot had some interesting things to say about the ethics of animal farming, while he was butchering the squirrel:

"I would regard almost all farmed meat as unethical, there are huge problems with it: The land take which deprives people of grain which would otherwise be grown for human consumption, pushing up the price; the welfare of the animals themselves; antibiotic resistance, it creates resistant pathogens; the manure and other forms of pollution going down into the rivers.

"There are a range of problems here and it's not all solved by going free range or organic."

When asked if there is anything he wouldn't eat, Monbiot replied "cats and dogs", because "There are cultural barriers which even rather feral people like me need to respect."

What a time to be alive.

Watching George Monbiot taking a hammer to a squirrel and talking about how he'd eat cats. That's summer #newsnight

You can watch the full Newsnight episode on iPlayer, if you're in the UK, for the next 29 days.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at

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