Jack the beagle and a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Tuna lead the procession of seemingly unlikely and sometimes bizarre buddies in the first episode of Unlikely Animal Friends - A Pig and his Pooch (Nat Geo Wild, JUne 23 at 8.40pm). This is heart-warming stuff, and if you're in need of a cute, furry animal hit, this is for you.
There have been many well-documented cases of animals forging deep connections with humans - Christian the lion, for example. Bought from the Harrods department store, in London, in 1969, by a pair of eccentric geezers, Christian would be cared for in the British capital until being introduced into Kora National Reserve, in Kenya, at the onset of maturity. That Christian recognised and welcomed the men during the two years in which they looked after him in a London basement is remarkable and seems to support the concept of animal sentience, which was written into the basic law of the European Union in 1997.
Anyone who has watched the online video of a Jack Russell and an Australian butcherbird playing on the grass together should understand that animals can and do play, feel joy and experience emotions. However, the challenge with a documentary series such as this is always going to be our anthropomorphic tendencies to assume that animal behaviour that appears to mimic our own comes from the same place. Is Tuna actually doing the things the owners claim, or is she just being a pig? After all, pigs and dogs do not belong in one another's food chains. That is not to suggest the bonds depicted are not real and deep, merely that our own projections can sometimes seem very attractive.
That anthropomorphic fallacy is considered an innate trait in human psychology would also make a wonderful documentary - as does the complex world of food commodification.
New three-part BBC series Tomorrow's Food (right; TVB Pearl, starting on June 22 at 9.35pm) explores the rapid developments in science that have the potential to not only shape what we eat, but also further entrench corporatisation - for good or bad - in the global food chain.
Among other things, the programme claims our burgers will one day be more likely to come from a petri dish than a living animal. Although most people will never eat a burger made in a petri dish, of course, because the challenges brought on by climate change and changing land use will leave the majority without the means to afford such things.
Displayed here is a little of that "science to the rescue" thinking that permeates solutions driven by a corporate agenda rather than the needs of people. Do we require 3D printing to transform the way we obtain our sustenance, or is it more important to offer alternative cooking methods to the millions of people who lack access to firewood? I sense a pull in two directions: the drive towards a science-based and corporate-owned "food as commodity" mindset; and the increase in resilient communities that proclaim to be handing power back to local people in allowing local production and distribution of food at sustainable market prices.
Hosted by Dara Ó Briain - as so many of these kinds of BBC programme are - Tomorrow's Food goes on to offer examples of the incredible changes being made to the very concept of what grub is - and, despite the questions left unanswered, it all sounds very tasty.