TV butcher Matt Christison has caused a stir on Instagram for sharing videos of himself killing farm animals but he is unapologetic.
A former Australian TV star has sparked controversy for sharing graphic content of farm animals being killed on Instagram with one politician describing the content as “sick and twisted”.
Self-described “mad butcher” Matt Christison, who appeared on several episodes of River Cottage Australia, creates online content from his farm in Bega, in NSW’s southeast.
One recent video features a young boy using the dead body of a cow as a swing, with the cow strung up in a tree with its legs chained together and head dangling towards the ground. Christison’s caption read “Swinging into Thursday with cowboy wing nut. Don’t play with your food”.
A previous post captioned a “humane harvest” showed two sheep and featured the two unsuspecting animals being shot in slow motion with what the post described as “a savage .22 magnum rifle”.
Footage showed the moment the animals dropped to the ground after being struck in the side with a bullet.
In a post addressed to people who disapproved of his methods, Christison filmed himself filling a measuring cup with blood from a dead cow and drinking it.
“Here I am doing my job in the most humane way possible with no stress and no abuse to provide the best ethically sourced meats available,” part of his post read.
Another video featured blood from the head of a cow being drained into a bucket, and while some were mortified, others praised the farmer for using “every part of the animal”.
In another video, Christison sung “How much for that jersey in the cattle yard” in a take on the song How Much Is That Doggie In The Window, as he approached a cow in a yard.
After following the animal for a few moments with his gun, he shot it in the head.
“I was cold this morning so I grabbed a jersey for warmth,” his caption read.
The video attracted an angry reaction from some, with one slamming him for “playing around with this kill”.
However, another said they “love it”.
The butcher caused division with another video filmed in the moments after a cow was shot in a paddock.
While a big group of cows ran from the dying body, others gathered around it as it laid on the ground as the final parts of its body ceased moving.
People in comments claimed the video was proof cows had “no clue” what happened after one of them was shot.
Another farmer claimed they too killed their animals in front of “their friend” in what they believed was a “stress free” experience.
In a separate post, Christison pulled the heart out of a dead lamb while it was still beating.
“Be still my beating heart. When harvesting lamb I find it amazing how the heart still beats after two minutes from death,” his caption read.
Several viewers were disturbed by what they saw and questioned Christison’s sanity.
One person described the farmer’s Instagram account “disturbing as a whole”.
Others disagreed, saying they thought it was “beautiful” and they “love it”.
Christison also filmed himself using the testicles from a cow’s carcass in a mock weather forecast, manipulating them to change positions for his prediction of hot and cold temperature.
Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst has called on Instagram to remove the account from its platform.
“This is sick and twisted,” she told news.com.au. “Encouraging a child to use a cow’s dead body as a swing is not normal behaviour.
“This man’s behaviour promotes a serious disregard for life. This account is aiming for shock value, but it also shows a tremendous lack of respect for animals. There’s sadness, not humour, in the death of others.
“This man shows a complete disregard for animals by taunting animals before slaughtering them, and killing animals in front of other animals.
“What is worse is that this behaviour is seemingly legal under our current laws.”
Ms Hurst said the page had been reported to the Animal Justice Party on several occasions, with users sharing they had reported it.
“Instagram should ban this man immediately so this vile content stops being shared,” she added.
Farmer responds to backlash
Christison told news.com.au he thought people who complained about his page were merely “vegan activists”, and the ones who questioned his sanity were “just potty mouthed triggered trolls”.
He argued his page shouldn’t be shut down because it was “well within [Instagram] community guidelines”.
Christison denied there was a large volume of complaints against his page, instead claiming the “majority of people like my posts”.
“My small business is the most humane way to process animals and she obviously has not seen my video’s (sic) of me hugging and scratching them,” he said.
“I am amazed that my account is widely used by vegans as I show it upfront with nothing to hide and no animals suffer horrific deaths yet vegan pages are full of gore and poor welfare which is not on my account at all.”