A cousin of Zuckerberg's first kill. Image by Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University via Flickr CC
Fortune Magazine is reporting that Mark Zuckerberg has challenged himself to only eat animals that he kills by his own hands. As an omnivorous ex-vegan who has never killed my own dinner I commend his personal challenge. (Zuckerberg takes an annual challenge as a personal growth exercise. Last year he learned Chinese.)
His first kill was a lobster and he's at least slaughtered a chicken, pig and goat since then. Fortune quotes Zuckerberg on why he took the challenge to become so deeply involved in his own personal food chain.
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.
Zuckerberg sends his kills to a butcher in Santa Cruz and then takes it home to prepare. Taking his gratitude for the life of the animals he eats one step further Fortune reports that he has been eating parts that most of us leave behind at the butcher shop. "He recently ate a chicken, including the heart and liver, and used the feet to make stock."
While vegans can call this out as just another self-indulgent form of animal cruelty Zuckerberg says that one of the side-effects of his challenge is that he now eats much healthier and when he goes out to eat he picks restaurants where he knows he can choose vegetarian options.
In the battle of the billionaires I'll take Zuckerberg's personal kill-your-dinner challenge over Bill Gates misguided support of GM food for Africa any day.