View Full Version : Bourdain on Vegetarians

06-23-09, 11:03 PM
From his book.

"Don't you ever wake up in the middle of the night craving bacon?" I asked.
"No. Never," replied every single one of them. "I've never felt so healthy in my life."

It was difficult for me to be polite (though I was outnumbered). I'd recently returned from Cambodia, where a chicken can be the difference between life and death. These people in their comfortable suburban digs were carping about cruelty to animals but suggesting that everyone in the world, from suburban Yuppie to starving Cambodian cyclo driver, start buying organic vegetables and expensive soy substitutes. To look down on entire cultures that've based everything on the gathering of fish and rice seemed arrogant in the extreme. (I've heard of vegans feeding their dogs vegetarian meals. Now that's cruelty to animals.) And the hypocrisy of it all pissed me off. Just being able to talk about this issue in a reasonably grammatical language is a privilege, subsidized in a yin/yang sort of a way, somewhere by somebody taking it in the neck. Being able to read these words, no matter how stupid, offensive, or wrongheaded, is a privilege, your reading skills the end product of a level of education ost of the world will never enjoy. Our whole lives - our homes, the shoes we wear, the cars we drive, the food we eat - are all built on a mountain of skulls. Meat, say the PETA folks, is "murder." And yes, the wide world of meat eating can seem like a panorama of cruelty at times. But is meat "murder"? f*** no.

Murder, as one of my Khmer pals might tell you, is what his next-door neighbor did to his whole family back in the seventies. Murder is what happens in Cambodia, in parts of Africa, Central and South America, and in former Soviet republics when the police chief's idiot son decides he wants to turn your daughter into a whore and you don't like the idea. Murder is what Hutus do to Tutsis, Serbs to Croats, Russians to Uzbeks, Crips to Bloods. And vice versa. It's black Chevy Suburbans (which, more than likely, US taxpayers paid for) pulling up outside your house at three in the morning and dragging your suspiciously unpatriotic and overopinionated son. Murder is what that man sitting across from you in Phnom Penh does for a living - so he can afford a satellite dish for his roof, so he can watch our Airwolf reruns, MTV Asia, and Pam Anderson running in slow motion down a Southern California beach.

Hide in your fine homes and eat vegetables, I was thinking. Put a Greenpeace or NAACP bumper sticker on your Beemer if it makes you feel better (so you can drive your kids to their all white schools). Save the rainforest - by all means - so maybe you can visit it someday, on an ecotour, wearing comfortable shoes made by some twelve-year-olds in forced labor. Save a whale while millions are still sold into slavery, starved, f***ed to death, shot, tortured, forgotten. When you see cute little kids crying in rubble next to Sally Struthers somewhere, be sure to send a few dollars.

06-23-09, 11:44 PM
I couldnt agree more.

Here is a comedic take on the same principle. He makes some very valid points and even sites his sources: http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=grill

"For every animal you don't eat, I am going to eat three."


06-23-09, 11:56 PM
Wow, that is dead on. There is more important sh!t to deal with on this planet than saving a cow that can't survive in the wild on its own anyway.

06-24-09, 12:18 AM
There are alot of over educated, under experienced people out there and while I find Anthony Bourdain rather sophmoric himself, I agree with the point he is making here. Too often all of us make decisions about what is good forthe world around us based on our emotions rather than the reality of a situation which others have to deal with every day. Its' OK to be a political vegan when you have a choice, quite something different when what you eat has more to do with what is available that you can find or afford.

"Bush Meat" is a prime example of the dilemma as it presents itself in relationship to endangered species. The people eating this potentially illness producing food source really are very limited as to protein sources availble to them. Meat from domesticated livestock is either not available or not affordable to them. But they are annihilating many species of wild animal threatening their continued presence in the world by providing a ready market for poachers to sell the meat they derived from these, in most cases, illegal sources. There are no easy answers to these problems, but too often positions on solutions to one problem do not take into account the impact on other problems faced by others in the world.

06-24-09, 12:26 AM
His main idea: Meat is not murder. Its sustenance. Murder is genocide, homicide, etc.

White suburbanites preaching their hatred for meat consumption like its a pressing moral issue have their heads up their well-fed behinds.

06-24-09, 12:53 AM
My old roommate was a vegetarian. Often times I'd be cooking or eating something and he'd say "man that smells good! what is it?". When I'd tell him it was chicken he'd let out a dwindling "oohhhhhh..." :suspect:

06-24-09, 01:46 AM
The human digestive system is designed to be omnivorous. End of discussion.

06-24-09, 02:23 AM
Shall I repost the pictures of the massive hoards of meet and fish in my basement freezer? I think so.



The Tony Show
06-24-09, 09:56 AM
I eat extra meat to make up for the vegetarians, and floor the gas in my 4.6L Mark VIII every time I pass a Hybrid.

Balance is restored.

06-24-09, 11:55 AM
...and floor the gas in my 4.6L Mark VIII every time I pass a Hybrid.

I am a card carrying carnivour, if you don't like it - Tough! :stirpot:

And I prefer to downshift to let the Corsas roar when passing hybrids :cool2:

06-24-09, 01:14 PM
I love Bordain for this very reason.

1 veg·e·tar·i·an
Etymology:2vegetable + -arian
Old English 1: Village idiot who cant hunt, fish or ride. Usually relegate to picking berries and taking handouts from productive members of the society. Usually grey in color and smell of patchouli.

As Sir Charles Barkley once said "If God didnt want us to eat animals he would have made them taste like Brussel Sprouts"

06-24-09, 06:55 PM
100% agreement. Total carnivore here.

06-24-09, 08:20 PM
Another member of the carnivore club. I don't even like pickles on my hamburgers (the onions can stay, the lettuce and tomatoes gotta go).

06-26-09, 09:28 PM

06-26-09, 09:41 PM

06-26-09, 11:19 PM
I'm a total omnivore -- but you've got to take what this guy says w/a grain of salt... He's spent a substantial amount of time blitzed on smack, and gets himself filmed on the Travel Channel eating like wild boar anus or some manner of sickness.....

06-27-09, 11:58 AM
I work with a woman who has recently become a vegan and it's ticking me off. She brings these god-awful vegan meals that she buys at the natural foods store and microwaves them at work and they smell like someone has just microwaved a cast-off bowling alley rental shoe. And she's constantly eating, too...constantly..non-stop all day. She's also decided that coffee is bad for people so will periodically brew some nasty organic chicory crap..which is a very unpleasant surprise first thing in the morning when you think you're getting some low-quality but caffeine-infused Folgers.

I should print that article and post it on our company bulletin board. If God hadn't meant for us to eat His creatures..he wouldn't have made them taste so good when slow-roasted and slathered in barbeque sauce ;)

06-27-09, 12:11 PM
I should print that article and post it on our company bulletin board. If God hadn't meant for us to eat His creatures..he wouldn't have made them taste so good when slow-roasted and slathered in barbeque sauce ;)

. . . or steak sauce, or Cajun rub, or cocktail sauce, or honey mustard, or sauerkraut, or . . .

06-27-09, 12:18 PM
One of my favorite things about Bordain is that he truely HATES Rachel Ray. I cant stand that he-hack and I would rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than to hear her say "Dee-lish" one more fuggin time in my life.

His book "Kitchen Confidential" is a great read.

06-27-09, 02:48 PM
I am not a fan of Rachel Ray and solved the problem of her media existence by just not turning on her show. "Kitchen Confidential" was a good read, but his show is really sophmoric ........ his pontifications belie the limits of his experience and education.

06-27-09, 07:04 PM
Rachael Ray is cute and fun. She's not a chef. She doesn't call herself one. She's a personality who cooks and eats on TV. I dont understand the hate.

06-28-09, 01:42 AM
Rachael Ray is cute and fun. She's not a chef. She doesn't call herself one. She's a personality who cooks and eats on TV. I dont understand the hate.

True. And I don't think anyone here would say they wouldn't bend her over her equally gorgeous vintage Chambers range and stuff her roast like Christmas.

Anyway, I agree totally, and the Maddox article just hammers it home. I eat meat. I love meat. I have no problem with Whaling, (considering the Japanese don't go for the endangered whales) or Veal, or anything else like that. If I wandered onto the veldt, and some Lion ate my ass, well, that's just nature's way. I take my steak so a good vet could bring it back. And I too love the floor it and let the big ol' American V-8 drink while I pass a Hybrid or similar siearra-club rubbishmobile. (don't you love how they all leave the huge ski racks and shit on the roof, completely ignoring how much gas that wastes?)