Cat Stew — a Delicacy?

Cat stew. It is horrifying to even write about.

Yet the dish was recently declared a “delicacy” by Italian cooking show host Beppe Bigazzi. The 77-year old said he has eaten the dish “many times” and encouraged viewers to do the same on his TV show on Monday, February 15.

“Cat, soaked for three days in the running water of a stream” in Tuscany “comes out with its meat white, and I assure you — I have eaten it many times — that it is a delicacy,” says Bigazzi, according to an Associated Press report.

The YouTube video clip of the program shows his co-host looking shocked and horrified. But Bigazzi defends his culinary choices. “Why, people maybe don’t eat rabbit, chicken, pigeon?” he asks.


“Cats are pets protected by law,” points out Health Ministry Undersecretary Francesca Martini. She criticized Bigazzi’s statements, saying that it “hurts sensibility, which fortunately is steadily growing, of citizens toward animals.”

Two days after the show was aired, RAI TV, the network host, suspended Bigazzi for an unspecified time, according to the AP.

Efforts to ban the eating of cats and dogs is underway in China, but unfortunately it would seem that there are still some that consider this an acceptable practice.

Editor’s Note: Photo is not actually of cat stew.


Ellene J.
Past Member 8 years ago

I agree with Amanda. Rights for all animals. Don't freak out over eating what we in North America consider pets. I would like to focus on endangered species, loss of animal habitat and the abolition of specific university departments and laboratories in torturing of our animal friends. Because we can't enslave an animal for our amusement does not give its life any less meaning. So, eat them all, or eat none. To choose one over another is hypocritical.

anne r.
Tom R8 years ago

It is horrifying enough to know that China, Korea and some Asian countries still do this and even raising cats and dogs for food and the manner of slaughter as being cruel is deplorable but an Italian chef saying it doesnt matter what animal to eat or slaughter as a delicasy is sadly both disappointing and disgusting~ cats and dogs are not a menu item - they are pets, loved and cherished by people and are not ever to be a menu item, used in a recipe -- UUHHH~~ This is the 20th century and our society should know, learn and be better toward domesticed animals. Even factory farmed animals is not the way to go.

Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen8 years ago

I thought Italy was "better than that", you know, civilized, modernized. and not a backwoods 4th world country

Lauren M.
Lauren M9 years ago

as far as i am concerned killing any animal for meat is wrong, and if you do eat pigs cows chickens ect still, eating cats and dogs is wrong unless you are some sort of sick individual who only cares about themselves. Most people own a dog or a cat or some sort of pet and imagining someone eating your pet is just terrible.

Margaretha van Egmond

So sad, like every other animal that ends on a plate:(

Rose S.
Rose S9 years ago

Very sad. I hope never to hear of this again.

Brandie L.
Brandie L9 years ago

Crazy old coot!

Josh Townsend
Josh T9 years ago

I was hoping the headline was some kind of pun and the article would be about how cats can be delicate in nature, even though they can scratch you. Something sweet like that. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

kaye whelpton
kaye whelpton9 years ago

Do we not have enough creatures to eat without eating pets. Lets hope this idiot has damaged his social standing with this public announcement.

Abby M.
Abby M9 years ago

Why? I'm with him- if you'd eat a pig, a cow, a chicken, a fish, so what's so different about cats? Because you think they're cute, or knew one? Its illogical.

Well yay for us vegans :)