Why Vegans Should Watch Anthony Bourdain

Last night I watched Anthony Bourdain for the first time since going vegan. I’ve been a fan of Bourdain’s for years, and despite the fact that he has made his distaste for vegans well-known, I still enjoy his brand of journalism.

Anthony Bourdain is known for his journalistic approach, which involves traveling to the farthest corners of the globe, where he connects with locals through the food (and alcohol) they consume.

Aside from his surprising ability to withstand large amounts of alcohol, Bourdain is also known for his ability to stomach just about any food. Disgust is a feeling he reserves for vegans, and I’ve never seen him turn up his nose at any dish, no matter how repulsive.

The only food he’s disparaged is fermented shark from Iceland, which he describes as “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible-tasting thing” he’s ever eaten. Well, I guess it’s nice to know he has some standards.

Fried Bunny Heads

In the particular episode I watched with my daughter last night, he ate fried rabbit heads, which he cracked open in order to suck out the brains. After singing a creepy rendition of “Peter Cottontail”, he acridly commented he’d like to serve them for Easter (was he joking? This is Bourdain, after all).

Why vegans should still watch Anthony Bourdain – Or at least remember offal is no worse than any other meat

I appreciate Bourdain’s efforts to encourage people to avoid eating only the sanitized, nice parts of animals. If you are going to eat the dead flesh of sentient beings, you might as well eat the whole thing and stop pretending that fetal ducks are any more disgusting than chicken breast. This is one thing that, as a vegan, bugs me a lot about other vegans.

Once you have killed animal, it’s dead. You’ve already taken its life, and no part of that animal is any WORSE than any other. If you find eating brains disgusting, you have to ask yourself why.

anthony bourdain with chickenOn disgust

I honestly think part of it is a natural disgust response to dead things. Humans instinctually revile at the thought of death. Of course, we learned to that meat was edible, and we overcome that particular taboo by early exposure to meat. But for those of us who don’t eat offal as children, the taboo remains in our minds.

But that doesn’t change the fact that we are simply used to one form of dead animal and not another. When it comes to suffering, a glass of milk is a humane chicken breast, is a bunny head. There’s no difference. And if any of those things disturbs you, you might want to find out more and consider going vegan.

What do you think? Join the conversation!