Would you eat this woman?

Her name is Clarissa 'The Fat Lady' and you don’t have to answer my question. I pose it purely because Brian May, the guitarist and ex-Queen, has advocated tucking into her flesh. Not because he thinks she’s tasty, I should hasten to add. His gastronomic advice was a response to her suggestion than humans should eat badgers, a species for which his affection is unbounded. I suppose he thinks people who’ve eaten Clarissa would have little appetite left for furry woodland creatures. She’s certainly got enough meat on her, although one fears it may be on the tough side.

Much as I admire Brian’s passion for the cause, I do have reservations about his tactics. Frankly, I don’t think telling people to eat fat ladies will gain much traction. The heyday of human cannibalism is long past. Names like Sawney Bean and Malietoa Uilamatu will echo through history as reminders of a golden age when men chopped up their enemies and put them into cooking pots. The humans of today have far weaker stomachs than those man-eating titans. Few will even consider eating each other unless they’re close to starvation.

I’m not convinced that championing the rights of badgers is good tactics either. From what I’ve heard, they are bad-tempered varmints who will happily make a meal of any critter that crosses their path. He who lives by the fang shall die by the fang. Why not campaign on behalf of cows and sheep instead? All they do is eat grass and look stupid. No one ever died from getting a stupid look.

In truth, I wonder whether pop stars do more harm than good for the causes they support. Look at that fellow Sting. He was supposed to be saving the rainforest at one time, but soon got side-tracked into tantric sex and other fatuous pastimes. As a result, people began to see the rainforest as one of his fads rather than an entity worthy of salvation. And why the hell does he call himself 'Sting' anyway? There's nothing cool about a painful prick that shoots out of a bee's arse.

Admittedly Brian May is a cut above Sting, having acquired a first degree in astrophysics and a PhD in guitar-string maintenance. The man is clearly an intellectual, and we surely have him to thank for words like ‘Gallileo’, ‘Figaro’ and ‘Fandango’ appearing in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Yet all this erudition doesn’t make him an expert on badgers, ecology or the eating of fat ladies.

The only way of getting accurate information on zoological topics is to consult an unsentimental naturalist who writes down what he sees in his notebook. The role model I have in mind is Dr George Murray Levick, a member of Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. He observed the mating habits of penguins and was shocked by the orgy of debauchery, necrophilia and buggery he witnessed. That didn’t stop him writing it all down though. Never become an animal’s advocate until you know all its dirty secrets.

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