Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Celebrity TV Chef, James Martin, calls for primates to be taken off the menu

Posted: 4 July 2005


In support of ‘My Mate’s a Primate’, the campaign to protect and save primates from extinction from Animal Defenders International (ADI), TV chef James Martin has called for an end to serving and eating primates, commonly known as ‘bushmeat’.

James said: “Primates should not be on the menu in a civilized society, especially as it threatens their very existence and survival as a species. Animal Defenders International’s stand against the cruel slaughter for bushmeat deserves our support, as it poses the greatest threat to apes in the wild and their habitat, and thus, ultimately to our own survival. At the current rate, we could be eating whole species off the face of the earth in a matter of years."

Chimpanzee numbers have declined from around 2 million at the beginning of the last century in 25 countries in West and Central Africa, to barely 150,000 today in 4 countries. Hunters in Africa are killing 6,000 western lowland gorillas, 15,000 chimpanzees and 7.5 million colobus monkeys for food each year. ADI has also exposed a thriving bushmeat trade in South America.

The campaign highlights how we consume, pollute and destroy – not only animals such as primates, but also their habitat. Our actions have a detrimental effect on the ecosystem, as primates are primarily found in tropical rainforests and play an important part in helping to disperse seeds and pollinate plants. Their removal in such large numbers disturbs the balance of nature and is a major threat to the environment.


James Martin, TV chef

James Martin came from a catering family based at Castle Howard stately home in Yorkshire, where at 12, he could boast that he’d cooked for the Queen Mother. He trained at Scarborough and was student of the year for three years running. TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson subsequently invited James to work at 190 Queensgate and then at dell’Ugo restaurants in London, after which James travelled throughout France working in the kitchens of French chateaux. On his return to Britain, at age 22, he opened the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester. James’s TV career began in 1996 on the BBC’s ‘Ready Steady Cook’ where he is still a regular. He has also made several TV series including ‘For Better, For Worse’ and ‘Simply Fish’, with guest appearances on many other TV programmes and currently a regular slot on the BBC TV’s ‘Housecall’. He is filming the second BBC series of ‘Castle in the Country’.

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