Elwood’s Organic Dog Meat has officially arrived in the UK, complete with a new advertisement campaign on the London Underground.
If you’re struggling to get your head round the shock of this, it isn’t what you think. The farm isn’t real, and it was set up by a vegan activist named Molly Elwood to encourage meat-eaters to think about their choices.
Elwood’s farm exists online, including a large following on social media, and was started in the US. It parodies the meat industry’s own language, and features products like “pug bacon” and “Labrador steaks.” The farm describes itself as “ethical, local, organic, and high-welfare” – which are all words often used to justify cow, lamb, pig, and chicken farms. According to Elwood, the outrage the dog meat farm sparks highlights rampant speciesism and cognitive dissonance among the public.
Elwood’s Organic Dog Meat backlash
Most people in countries like the US and UK are disgusted at the idea of eating dogs, but wilfully ignore the ethics of eating farmed animals. Because of this, Elwood’s often receives a huge amount of hate on social media, almost always from non-vegans.
“We get all sorts of creative, violent threats – and it makes sense, when you see what we’re theoretically doing to dogs on our farm. These people think Elwood’s is real,” said Molly Elwood in a statement. “But our social posts are recreated word-for-word from real family farms – and the backlash suggests people don’t like what these farms do to animals.”
The farm has had huge success since launching, spurring many people to voice that it had made them reconsider their food choices. “There are actual messages from people who have decided to go vegetarian or try veganism after seeing our posts or website,” Elwood told Plant Based News (PBN).
“I’d say once a month, we get direct messages, emails, and voicemails or find comments on our shares from people who were, say, holding their cat while reading our website, feeling anger and disbelief before making the connection,” she continued. “And we hear from a lot of people that our posts or website simply helped them finally understand veganism, which is sometimes the first step to making a change.”
The UK launch
According to Elwood, it makes “complete sense” to launch the farm in the UK.
“British farms conform to some of the highest welfare standards in the world—and you British folks expect quality, humanely raised meat animals,” she said. “So this is a natural fit for Elwood’s.”
Brits do indeed often believe their farming system to be among the best in the world. This is despite the fact that the animals living on farms are routinely mutilated, confined in cages, and often subjected to illegal animal abuse. Around 85 percent of farmed land animals are raised intensively, but even the so-called “free-range” and “family” farms are also often found to be rife with abuse.
“We offer our dogs the ethical, humane, Red Tractor-assured treatment that consumers come to expect of any UK farm: our employees are trained, we keep good records, and the dogs have healthy food, clean stalls, proper lighting and ventilation,” Elwood told PBN. “Many of our picnic breed sheds have a door so those closest to it can go outside. And because the dogs are reared on British soil—that alone means they had a happy life. It’s fine.“
Adverts for Elwood’s are now on display across the London Underground. There will also be a “dog meat” tasting session at Borough Market between 12 and 3pm on Saturday (June 24).
While the Elwood’s won’t actually be selling dog meat, consuming it is currently legal in the UK.