Earlier this month, he surprised his 847 friends on his private Facebook page when he posted: “I just killed a pig and a goat.”
According to Fortune, the idea came from a chef called Jesse Cool who runs a restaurant called Flea Street Café, close to Zuckerberg‘s home in Palo Alto, California. She introduced him to some local farmers who showed him how best to kill 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.
Zuckerberg has subsequently explained, via an email to Fortune, that his new-found predilection for slaughtering animals is just his latest annual challenge. Last year, he challenged himself to learn Mandarin. The year before, it was to wear a tie every day. (Given this sense of escalation, we now await next year’s challenge with some interest.) He said:
This year, my personal challenge is around being thankful for the food I have to eat. I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being thankful for what I have. This year I’ve basically become a vegetarian since the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself. So far, this has been a good experience. I’m eating a lot healthier foods and I’ve learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals.
I started thinking about this last year when I had a pig roast at my house. A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really didn’t want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive. That just seemed irresponsible to me. I don’t have an issue with anything people choose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.
I imagine some vegetarians might want to argue with him on the point of whether he can described himself as “basically a vegetarian” just because he slaughters his own dinner, but it is certainly a far more thought-provoking challenge than wearing a tie each day. In fact, I would go further and repeat the sentiment of Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, who tweeted earlier today: “Good for him.”
Anything that helps to show meat-eaters – of which I am one – the full, often harrowing process involved in getting that lump of dead animal to their plate should be encouraged. It is often noted that most meat-eaters are ignorant – and wish to remain so – about the mechanics of how an animal is reared, slaughtered, butchered and packaged for human consumption. Hopefully, Zuckerberg’s high profile will ignite interest and debate around this sensitive subject.
- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to go vegetarian…? (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- Mark Zuckerberg: Slaughtering Animals and Other Creepiness (deathby1000papercuts.com)
- Mark Zuckerberg Only Eats What He Kills (mashable.com)
- Facebook founder’s meat challenge (guardian.co.uk)
- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg killing his own food (globaltvbc.com)
- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg killing his own food: Fortune (calgaryherald.com)
- Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook Founder and Animal Butcher (abcnews.go.com)
- Enlightened Mark Zuckerberg Eating Only What He Kills (sfist.com)
- I have always said if I had to actually kill my own meat I probably would be a vegetarian…I get it Zuckerberg. (igoyougo.wordpress.com)
- Zuckerberg Only Eating Animals He Personally Kills (idle.slashdot.org)