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Ella to pig out on pork as she slaughters pets

RTE presenter Ella McSweeney has done a Gordon Ramsay and slaughtered her pet pigs for food.

The Ear To The Ground star (32) bought the pigs earlier this year and after constructing a makeshift pig-pen in the backyard of her Blackrock home -- where the two pets lived for several months -- the brunette broadcaster took the plunge and killed them.

Although she confesses that the process was gorier than she anticipated, she says she didn't get squeamish during it and relishes the fact that she now has a "freezer full of food".

Speaking to the Herald, Ella said: "I now have a freezer full of my own food and it's nice to know it's just from the one pig, as oppose to products that could be with 10 different parts from 10 different pigs.

"The meat from the pigs is really sweet. I'm quite averse to the fatty parts, like normal women, but this is very sweet and light, not thick and heavy.

"I worked alongside an amazing chef from France, Ed Hick, who showed me the proper way to cook everything.

"He showed me all the different ways to cook all the different parts. The weird parts were very tasty, for example, the tail was delicious," she added.





Trend

And Ella said that rearing your own animals in suburban areas is becoming a growing trend among Dubliners.

"It's really in vogue now to do what I did -- for the past year it seems to have really grown in popularity, since the recession worsened a lot more people are doing it.

"But I'm just happy with the fact that I didn't chuck anything out, there was no waste afterwards."

However she admits that she did encounter some opposition from vegetarian pals, who thought the project was in bad taste.

"A few of my vegetarian friends didn't like the idea that I was rearing them just to kill them. But the pigs had a good life and they were allowed to express their natural instincts.

"Most pigs are raised inside in relatively cramped quarters. But I respect the principles of my vegetarian friends," she said.

Viewers of her RTE One show will see the entire process on Ear To The Ground in October. The mum-of-one says that although she was born and raised in Dublin, she hopes to eventually move out of the capital to set up her own large farm.

hnews@herald.ie