Keeping up with the Cowdashians
OX Country had a chat with him…
Can you explain Keeping up with the Cowdashians and why you decided to create it?
Essentially The Cowdashians is a spoof on reality television. It came about from a flippant comment I made to my partner while watching a reality show. I said something along the lines of “This is about as interesting as watching animals in a farmyard”.
And it kind of struck a chord with me; I was semi-intrigued by how banal reality TV has become over the last few years and wondered how much further it could sink.
I chatted to the creative guys who do the website and Keeping up with the Cowdashians was formed from that as a sort of mockumentary about the concept of people being famous for doing nothing.
We also wanted to drill home the relationship of the butcher and the farmer, and the fact that it’s important people reconnect with their food.
In this generation meat just appears! We don’t question where it comes from!
I’ve got two young kids and I try and educate them as to where food comes from because I remember – as a kid – going with my granddad down to the fish quay and getting fresh fish. Our parents’ and grandparents’ generation placed a lot of value in sourcing food and travelling to get it; they had much more of a connection with it, with the local butchers, fishmongers and veg stores.
The demise of the high street butchers and high street in general is well documented but I do think things like the horse meat scandal got people questioning where their food comes from.
If we were going to put a strapline on Cowdashians, we want to show people that good meat starts with good farmers and that these beef cattle have been loved and cared for by these incredible farmers that operate in the most remote, rural parts of Britain; they are the forgotten heroes of the food chain.
They say never work with children or animals; have there been any difficulties?
No. The farmer and the farmhand were the ones who manoeuvred and handled the cattle. That was the great part to watch. The farmer, Alastair Patterson, has such affection for his cattle and was never going to jeopardise the safety and wellbeing of them at any stage of the filming, which from a butcher’s point of view is amazing to see.
What’s the reception of Cowdashians been like so far from people who have seen it? Has it been positive?
Absolutely! People get the parody aspect of it, the point we’re trying to make about reality TV and the farmer/butcher relationship we’ve got in there.
Will the celebrity status of the cows save them from the slaughterhouse?
Probably not. They are livestock bred for beef and will end up on a table.
But one of the next ideas is like Crowdfunding; we’re looking at a concept called Cowfunding! It will essentially be giving customers the opportunity to buy a bit of a cow or a whole cow. So if there was demand to save Kim or one of the other Cowdashians that could be an option. We’re working with a local food bank on the project and wanting to give a bit back to the local community.
I suppose the slaughter could be quite a poignant episode, an appropriate end to the series…
Yes. We don’t really need to do a spoiler alert as to how the series ends. They’re beef cattle. It ends on a plate but hopefully it’s a tasty ending!
Related Articles: Escape to Middle Farm