Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve wrestled with becoming a vegan or a vegetarian for sometime. Not for political reasons, mind you, but purely for health reasons. Put it this way, the more you know about how the meat we eat reaches our plates, the less you want to eat it, trust me. At the risk of sounding pompous, I know a lot about the food industry in America, or “Big Food” if you will, from covering it when I worked at Yahoo, and I still have Google alerts set to many food industry related topics (Just Google “factory farming” sometime when you’re bored.) that keep me tuned in to all the distressing sh*t going on in that industry right now. However, I’ve yet to be able to make that sort of drastic change, and the sharp canines in my mouth have convinced me that my ancestors were avid meat-eaters, which makes it even harder not to be one.
Anyway, I tell you all of this for this reason: To say that I can identify with anyone who has qualms about eating meat. I’ve thought about the moral and health ramifications of eating meat a lot, and I’ll continue to do so probably until the day I die.
Apparently Mark Zuckerberg is in the same boat; he told Fortune magazine today that “the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself.” And he’s not kidding — the magazine says that “he has taken to killing goats, pigs and chickens,” and, according to a chef who lives near him, Zuck really does the killing himself — taking a knife to the throat of the animals he gets from a nearby farm.
Zuckerberg’s new goal came to light, not surprisingly, on Facebook. On May 4, Zuckerberg posted a note to the 847 friends on his private page: “I just killed a pig and a goat.”
This drew a stream of emotional comments, which were a mixture of confusion, curiosity, and outright disgust. Zuckerberg posted his own comment in response, explaining that he fixates on a personal challenge each year (in 2009, he wore a tie every day), and this year’s is about animals and meat.
Zuckerberg’s guide on this strange journey has been a well-known Silicon Valley chef named Jesse Cool. She lives in Palo Alto, eight houses away from Zuckerberg, and owns a local restaurant called Flea Street Café. Cool has introduced Zuckerberg to nearby farmers and advised him as he killed his first chicken, pig, and goat. “He cut the throat of the goat with a knife, which is the most kind way to do it,” says Cool.
Killing is just the kickoff. After that, the dead creatures go to a butcher in Santa Cruz, who cuts them into parts. Zuckerberg and his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla, have been cooking what he slaughters, eating what many people would not dare consume. He recently ate a chicken, including the heart and liver, and used the feet to make stock. He posted a photo of the bird on his Facebook page, along with a list of the dishes he made from it.
The magazine reports that Zuckerberg has told people he’s interested in learning how to hunt. Perhaps one of his more famous Facebook users can give him a few pointers.
(Zuckerberg pic via)