Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been criticised for claiming that eating puppy meat is no worse than eating a pork chop.
The TV chef suggested that society had unfairly dictated which animals can be farmed and which can be kept as pets.
Fearnley-Whittingstall told the Radio Times: “In principle, but not in practice, I have no objection to a high-welfare organic puppy farm.
“You can’t object, unless you also object to the farming of pigs. It’s an artificial construct of our society, a cultural decision, to make pets out of dogs and meat out of pigs.
“Both animals could be used the other way round – although pigs probably do make better meat than dogs and dogs better pets than pigs.”
However, he did admit that he would only eat loin of labrador if he “was on the point of starvation”.
A Dogs Trust spokesman said: “We believe that the concept of breeding dogs for food in any conditions, high welfare or not, is wholly unacceptable.
“Dogs are companion animals and as man’s best friend they provide immeasurable love, comfort and support to owners all over the world.”
by Arthur Furrowfield