Mark Zuckerberg, the gagillionaire founder of Facebook, apparently posted to his person Facebook page this spring that he had just killed a goat and a pig.
No, not a sacrifice to the gods of Silicon Valley.
Fortune magazine followed up and learned Zuckerberg has pledged to only eat meat this year from animals he personally kills. He wrote in an email:
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’ve known several people who said things like “I don’t like to eat chicken that still has the bone in it,” which sounds to my ear like, “I don’t want to be reminded that I’m eating the flesh of a sentient being that died so I could eat it.” Apparently Zuckerberg felt the same when listening to his friends.
Conversely, John and I recently watched The Power of Myth series, featuring Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell on a whole range of topics relating to myths and practices throughout human history. One of the many ideas that struck me was the ceremony that used to surround hunting, killing and eating animals.
When we were hunters, it was a really big deal when the men went out and killed an animal. They had to go find the animal on its turf, hunt it and bring it back to the camp, where Campbell described the celebration that would follow, honoring the spirit of the creature and thanking it for its sacrifice.
Now so many of us live so removed from our food’s production that it’s easy to jam a drive thru burger into your mouth without connecting it to the death of a cow. You haven’t lived with that animal on your farm, or seen it on your neighbor’s farm, or celebrated as the hunters dragged it back from the woods.
I salute Zuckerberg for closing that circle, for being mindful of the connection between meat on his plate and the animal it came from.
Here’s a video about the difference between factory farm treatment of animals and family farms:
And Jamie Oliver teaching students where cuts of beef come from:
Categories: food and drink