Last night I had Anthony Bourdain’s show Parts Unknown on in the background while I was cooking. Like Mr. Bourdain, I enjoy traveling to unusual places. I’ve been to 75 countries, including Greenland, Myanmar, Namibia, and many others few Americans visit.
Mr. Bourdain loves to eat, and so do I. He’s an omnivore, and I’m a vegan. Vegans know that animal cruelty is unnecessary, but to live in this world we occasionally have to put up with watching others eat animals. I hate the pro-meat parts of his show and usually just tune that stuff out and focus on the travel part.
At one point in the show (Season 8, Episode 3), Mr. Bourdain and his friends were eating fried rabbit heads. I winced and nearly turned the TV off. So revolting. But I asked myself what difference it made which part of the animal they ate once they’d killed an animal for food. I hoped the show would swiftly move to other observations about Sichuan, China, where it was being filmed.
But what came next was truly horrifying. Mr. Bourdain and his friends were eating a hot pot, and he said “the good stuff in the outer ring included duck intestines. Mr. Bourdain said the chef sticks his hand up the duck while the animal is alive and rips out the bird’s intestines. This gives them their “fresh taste.
I was appalled. How could anyone endorse this needless animal cruelty? How could anyone support such torture of an innocent, sentient creature?
I snapped off the TV and finished making my arugula-pomegranate salad and almond ricotta lasagna. But the next day, still disgusted, I decided to tweet about it. I said:
This provoked some angry responses from Mr. Bourdain and his followers, but so be it. We all have an obligation to speak up for the voiceless.
Mr. Bourdain, you’ve often attacked vegans on your show. But I’m not looking to pick a fight. You are invited to my house for a delicious vegan dinner any time. I would love to show you how satisfying a cruelty-free meal can be.
May all creatures live in peace and free from suffering.
More than 23 million land animals are killed in the U.S. each day for food. Join Lisa and millions of others in fighting for their rights. Click here to learn how you can take action!