by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Eats
Tags: .
Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has announced to the world that for the next year he will only eat meat from an animal that he has personally killed. The 27-year-old billionaire says the vow is all part of an annual challenge “to learn about the world, expand my interests and teach myself greater discipline.”

In a letter to Fortune magazine he writes,

“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.”

So far, Zuckerberg has killed goats, chickens, pigs, and lobsters – this according to prominent Bay Area foodie Jesse Ziff Coo, who reportedly introduced Mark to the idea. “He cut the throat of the goat with a knife, which is the most kind way to do it,” Cool told Fortune. Um, yea.

To be clear, Zuck isn’t killing animals and then slicing them up on the back porch. Instead, he (and apparently a bunch of other well-to-do corporate execs) are dropping them off at local butchers after the fact. It’s not known if he sticks around to learn more – but others are.

“They all want to learn how to do it; they want to come in and watch us cut it up, because I think these days people who have the means to kill their own food want to see exactly what they’re eating,” said Dave Peterson of Corralitos Market & Sausage Co.

One butcher even confirmed that Zuckerberg pulled up to her shop with a slaughtered hog in the trunk of his Lexus.

It goes without saying that many will be pissed at what Zuckerberg is doing, but I find his commitment to only eating what he kills refreshing. I truly wish more people took a similar interest in going behind-the-scenes of the meat industry and learning more about their food – and the faces it comes from. Zuck says that he and his girlfriend are generally vegetarian most of the time as a result – and I have to believe that a majority of the nation would likely follow suit if they had to embrace the same challenge.

What do you think? I’m not asking you to agree with the taking of another animal’s life – but do you think Zuckerberg’s approach is something all meat-eaters should consider for a year of their lives?

via EcoLocalizer


About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • http://expertbeacon.com Expert Beacon

    Mark needs to read this when he gets food poisoning. http://bit.ly/izIiXd

    • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

      spammer !

  • mister jingles

    This is a shining example for everyone in this world!

  • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

    yeah, it is kind of refreshing that people learn about their food and take responsibility by killing their own food, and eat most of the time vegetarian.
    It’s better than most people who just open their mouth and mindlesly shovel in their food.
    But on the other hand, i really prefer to see anybody confronted with killing his own food, to drop the knife and take the compassionate decision.

  • Chris

    Firstly, Zuckerberg is not a vegetarian. How does murdering an innocent sentient being, such as a cow, bird, piggy, lamb, etc. equate to vegetarian?! It has been proven countless times by science that humans are not carnivores, humans are frugivores. In addition, veganism is the only lifestyle a human should live, it is the healthiest, and the most ethically humane conscious manner. Zuckerberg enjoys slaughtering innocent beings, if he had any respect for life, he would not kill, and would be a vegan, end of story. It’s disappointing to see people defending him. Not too long ago people bashed Palin for deer hunting, and she deserved to be bashed. Now why are people bashing Palin for shooting an innocent animal, but then praise Zuckerberg for slicing another innocent animal’s throat just for his own murderous pleasures? Zuckerberg should be equally bashed. Here’s my analogy to Zuckerberg slaughter story…It’s equally wrong to kill an innocent animal as it is to kill an innocent human. We don’t need to consume meat, so don’t these murderous actions for a non-sustainable & inhumane dietary lifestyle. Saying Zuckerberg is a honorable person for killing his own meat is like saying Hitler would have been an honorable person had he killed every innocent Jew himself. Hopefully Zuckerberg becomes enlightened one day, consciously sees the cruelty in the unessesary

    • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

      You are so very right.
      In my previous post i tried to be positive for the fact that he takes responsibility for his food choiches, AND that it did mean that MOST of the time he don’t eat meat anymore, because of this decision.
      That’s BETTER (or LESS WORSE :-0 )then eat meat everyday from the supermarket like most people do.
      But, you are very right, instead of being ethically grossed out by the killing of an animal for ones deranged taste buds, he decides to kill his own animals.
      And you r also right, when Palin kills her own food, she is bashed, while the CEO of Facebook get’s a pat on his back for sticking a knife in animals throats.
      Anyway, killing your own food animal is the hip new fashion for ceo’s, it ranks nr 2 right under shooting exotic animals in Africa. It’s their bloodsport.
      Anyway, thanks for your post !

      • Evan

        Humans are not stricly frugivores. Nor are we strictly carnivores. Nor are we strictly herbivores. We are all; also known as omnivores.

        This is how humans have evolved, and why we are still not apes, as our closest evolutionary cousins are. It is why we dominate the planet, are self-aware and “intelligent” [often debatable!]. We have evolved because we are adaptable to so many different environments. We are adaptable to so many environments because we can adapt to live off the local food sources. We can live off so many different food sources because we have evolved. Importantly, without meat, we would have the critical nutrition for our brains to develop, and without our brains being so powerful … we wouldn’t have evolved beyond rudimentary apes. I hope you are now getting the picture.

        Yes, killing animals seems cruel but it’s natural. There are many carnivorous creatures around – we are just one species that relies on meat. Yes, even vegans and vegetarians rely on supplements for nutrients that are best found in meat. Crikeys, without our brains we are food for many species … we really only get eaten when we are unprepared for an attack or just being stupid.

        We do need to think more about the meat we eat. How we farm animals, how we treat them, how we feed them, and how we kill them. There’s a lot of cruelty and waste of innocent life. We should only kill what we need when we need it. So Mark’s at least trying to something honorable. It’s not like killing exotic animals in Africa – a pastime for the rich and famous of yesteryear.

        Marks challenging his own ethics and that of societies.

        Oh, and Sarah Palin is an idiot. Thank god you didn’t vote her in. But you did vote George W, and look at what he did to the world. But bashing them? For a vegan, you’re awfully brutal. Just don’t vote them in, and shut them down politically.

        So Chris .. it appears you’re under-educated and self-absorbed. And probably quite a borish person. I can tell.

      • herwin

        no, Evan, it’s you who is boring with your boring old fart comparison of human beings living in a modern society with predators in the wild.
        To keep it short, lions, and other predators kill their prey after a hunt, but i never did hear of lions or any other predator having an animal factor.
        Lions eating herbivores = natural and wwithout lions no healthy herbivores population.
        Instead of promoting to kill animals, Jamie should promote a veg diet, better for the animals, for the environemnet, for global warming, for your health, and a veg diet gives more food to people all over the world because we don’t have to produce animal feeds.
        Jamie killing animals on the telly is just to score, and Jamie is just part of the meat movement who are trying hard to polich their image.
        So what does Jamie exactly do ? Trying to ban flavored milk from schools ? BIG @#$%^& DEAL !
        It’s sad to see thatJamie’s tactics work and some greenies/vegs give him the thumbs up, while he isnt at all vegetarian or even going the veg direction

      • Noel

        Evan’s comment is right on the spot.

        Aminoacids and fatty acids from animals are vital for the developement of our nervous system.

        On the other hand, animals are cute, especially in the moment you need to slaughter them, and Zuckerbergs initiative is a good idea.

        He’s probably reflecting on whether he is a good or bad person when slaughtering an animal for consumption.

        The fact is, that he is neither. He is just doing what he is supposed to do.

    • Tammy

      Evan ist right, humans are omnivores and have evolved to eat both meat and plants. I think Mark is being really wierd by killing the animals himself. I think it’s enough to get meat from a reliable source

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-Elizabeth/566480478 Erin Elizabeth

    He said he’s vegetarian (mostly) yet kills animals (better than factory farms, ok)

    he said he ADOPTED a dog when he, in fact, purchased an OVERPRICED INBRED PUPPY!

    He said he founded facebook when he clearly stole it.

    Hypocrite, not hip.

    He’s a loser. I want a facebook alternative.

    Ecorazzi- start one. I’ll join it and bring a few friends.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Manahan/1519145726 Daniel Manahan

    All pedophiles should follow this example where they only rape children that they themselves raise.

    how many analogies can we use to prove this is falty logic.

    All meat eaters need to be Anti Speciesists. The war is not on the welfare of the animals, it is on the lack of dignity we give them when we raise them for the selsish purposes of murdering them.

    If the meaning of your life is to be dinner for someone, then why would you want to exist? you would wish you were never born, regardless of how happy your home is.

    Follow the life of Ted Nugent and prove to me that Ted Nugent who I remember making popular the phrase: I only eat what I kill, has done anything positive for animal rights.

    I predict Zuckerberg is going to influence and legitimize hunting now. At least with assholes who pay others to murder animals, they feel shame, and when they see slaughterhouse videos, they are likely to react to them.

    We need less jerks showing off how brave they are in murdering animals, and more people leading by example.

    We need to discourage cult behavior that idolizes celebrities, and instead follows the examples from the success of those who behave with Non-Speciesism.

    • David

      “how many analogies can we use to prove this is falty logic.”

      Well having an analogy that actually is applicable to your faulty logic would be a big step up.

      And why are so many animal rights activists fixated on pedophilia?

    • AnimuX

      I don’t think that is a reasonable comparison Daniel….

      You could simply point out your inherent objection to killing any animal for food and your opinion that there is no difference between a factory farm and Zuckerberg’s new obsession with personally dispatching his dinner.

      In my opinion it’s unrealistic to expect the entire world to stop eating meat. So, with that in mind, and from a perspective of conservation, it might be beneficial for people to eat “less” meat and limit themselves to what they raise themselves whenever possible.

      It doesn’t meet the standards of animal rights activism but it represents a considerable alternative to the excess waste and cruelty of factory farms.

    • Tammy

      ehm… animals don’t think about the future and why they live the way we do!

  • don miguelo

    So, if we all were to follow his lead wouldn’t we run out of animals pretty fast to kill. I understand what he is saying: it is a convenient blind spot to not care where your food comes from like most people, and I thank him for bringing that into the spotlight.

    However, what’s the point of this besides impressing the pecking order of his CEO buddies?
    Is it his comprehensive plan for world sustainability? No. Can humans (with the current population) go back to the circle of life/tribal system? No.

    Could it be it’s another strategic call for attention to his already popular website? To not see that would be another kind of blind spot.

  • Alejandro

    It’s interesting how much militant right wing nutjobs and teanderthals have in common with pious, holier than thou, self-righteous vegans that condemn people who eat meat – both use terms like “you people” or “those people” with the same dehumanizing, condescending and polarizing language whose tone is drenched with disgust, not unlike the manner in which right wing extremists have turned “liberal” into a dirty word. This kind of “all or nothing” thinking is exactly the same black and white, us vs them, you’re either with us or against us kind of thinking that hard core conservatives are limited to and burdened with. There is little room for a possible middle ground because of this extreme or polar opposite thinking (and in fact this is where the term “bi-polar” comes from). And without room for a middle ground, there is no room for common ground, and without any common ground and continued derision and condescension towards omnivores, couple with a refusal to contemplate that there might be sustainable ways of living an omnivorous life, will only create further entrenchment by the omnivorous majority through an even more fervent “stick to your guns” attitude as a reaction. If an opportunity to embrace a gesture made towards increased consciousness and increased sustainability is met with derision, as it was in prior comments, the only thing achieved is more self-righteousness, and more entrenchment of those to whom you have not learned to communicate with. The omnivorous majority likewise learn nothing from the pious and self-righteous about how to listen to an opposing point of view, and both sides learn nothing from each other. And in a sort of mutually assured destruction, there is no clear winner, just partial losers, on all sides of the issue (because there are more than just 2).

    • don miguelo

      Good point, we can only move forward by de-polarizing, I agree. You do understand of course that the cycle of Change is usually a small idea that grows against the tide of the majority perspective. In it’s efforts to survive at that stage, define its parameters, find why it is there, etc… it MUST polarize. Of course, later, when it’s big enough and has more people in it, it becomes well-rounded and could actually be accepted into the majority. I understand your frustration with seeing no progress but I think it is a necessary step.

      David, where is your comment coming from: “And why are so many animal rights activists fixated on pedophilia?”? That 1 analogy Daniel made up there pointing out faulty logic? That doesn’t make animal rights people fixated on pedophilia, and I resent the negative association attempt. I certainly never brought it up until this post, so do you have some numbers on that implied stereotypical statement?

  • Hunter Gatherer

    Good on you Mark. You will learn more about the environment and gain a greater respect for animals and life in general by keeping to this challenge.
    It’s funny to read these comments of people who are completely detached from our natural resources. Sad that they will never have the appreciation for life due to their closed minded views.
    Nature is crewel by human standards but when you really understand how life works your respect and understanding about the natural world will never be the same.
    So for all you out there that like your food processed and without eyes, good for you.

    You will never truly understand and respect the natural world until you become part of it.

  • Teresa Wagner

    Maybe some large animals will eat him and brag within their culture that they only eats humans they kill themselves.

  • David

    “David, where is your comment coming from: ”

    Maybe the fact that in the past two weeks just on this site I have read 4 comments where animal rights activists use analogies to pedophilia and/or compare their opponents to pedophiles. And since I rarely read the comments to articles, I assume the actual pedophile comparison number is even larger.

    If you resent the negative association then maybe you should police your own ranks. I notice you had no complaint about Daniel’s analogy just a complaint about my comment on his analogy, so it would appear to a casual observer that you at least find Daniel’s comment acceptable or possibly even agree with it.

    • AnimuX

      LOL! David’s faulty logic: Hey, I read a lot more than 4 arguably racist remarks from conservatives in the USA in the last week. That must mean every single conservative in the USA is a racist! (sarcasm)

      I mean, whether you’re calling someone a “treehugger”, terrorist, criminal, or a racist, and now a pedophile, there seriously has to be a limit to the lengths you’re willing to go to in order to demonize a group of people.

      So please, restrain your inner Charlie Sheen and make a reasonable comment from time to time.

      • David


        Isn’t it sad that AnimuX can’t even read and understand English?

        What was written “And why are so many animal rights activists fixated on pedophilia?”

        What AnimuX contends was written “…you’re willing to go to in order to demonize a group of people.”

        Hmmm. Looks like a question was asked about a sub-group of animal rights activists. No demonizing and no claiming it was a whole group. But I guess AnimuX’s fanatical glasses only allow him to read what he thinks is written and not the real words. Maybe it is some strange form of dyslexia?

  • don miguelo

    AH. I haven’t seen those posts but I believe you that they are there. That said I highly doubt that ONLY animal rights activist posters have used that subject for an analogy (which is the flaw in your logic, BTW).

    I can see what Daniel means by his analogy, I believe he was trying to exxagerate a point to make it obvious what he meant and maybe to make it memorable. I’ll let Daniel defend it further, or agree to not use that subject to make a point. I’m certain Ecorazzi would stop or remove actually inappropriate pedophilia comments. So thanks for pointing it out, should it be a real issue, not just poor choice of words.

    To answer your response, though: Yes I do agree from a logic standpoint — his analogy makes sense. He didn’t say it like it was advice, in fact he clearly and immediately followed it with an argument that it was stupid logic. That it was an incorrect perspective. That that was his whole point of saying it in the 1st place. I don’t know why you didn’t see that with the way you meticulously pore of so many of these comments. (“And since I rarely read the comments to articles…” BWAHAHAHA!! Yeah, me either.)

    If I read inappropriate content on pedophilia –from ANYONE–I will take it upon myself to address it of course, but this example just isn’t one.

    For the record– I find that subject disgusting and wrong, just as you do, and I’m sure all of us do here. I will not use it myself, if that helps.

    • David

      No flaw in my logic. Some animal rights activists made these statements, I don’t doubt that others have as well. And I asked why they were fixated on the topic. Since it seems some of them are fixated it is a perfectly logical question. BTW.

      “(“And since I rarely read the comments to articles…” BWAHAHAHA!! Yeah, me either.)”

      Yeah that is why you have been making almost daily posts while I have made a few comments in the past week or so but no comments for a month or two before that(which is the flaw in your logic, BTW).

      “If I read inappropriate content on pedophilia…”

      I didn’t say they were inappropriate. I asked why some people seemed fixated on the topic and by extension feel it is a good topic for comparison.

      • Anon

        Actually David, you said: “And why are so many animal rights activists fixated on pedophilia.”
        I don’t think four people on this site equates to ‘so many.’

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Whiting/1481903367 Paul Whiting

    I say, “Bravo, Mark!” If I could do the very same thing that you are doing, I would! I used to be a vegan–and then became a vegetarian–but now I am back to being on an omnivorous diet, however, being vegetarian feels really good…

    …So, I think that choosing to be vegetarian most of the time and, then, taking the total responsibility to personally end the life of the animal that you are going to eat is a great idea!

    Now, I would be very, very selective of how I chose to end that animal’s life (and I would also need to do research on that topic), but I would do the same thing that you are doing, Mr. Zuckerberg, in order to be someone who can “take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kalone-K-Baker/1237697804 Kalone K. Baker

    I want to be a vegan but I am far from there yet. I found that it was more expensive to get “full” on a vegan diet during the month that I tried it. I think I will try to ease back into it because I am not willing to kill an animal so I shouldn’t eat them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tracy-Mackprang/100000284883934 Tracy Mackprang

    Animals eat animals… we are animals… it’s OK… what is not OK is how we kill them and it’s because there are far too many people in the world and because corporate meat company’s only incentive is to make money. We should all pay much closer attention to our consumption.

  • geet

    This man is a brilliant person. But here saying that he is going to eat animals he kills with his own hands is sad. Such icons should promote compassion to animals. He can teach himself greater discipline by becoming vegetarian.Veg food is more healthy than meat and eating a veg diet is definitely a promotion of nil violence and blood shed.Factory farms should be closed for the amount of cruelty they display towards the hapless animals brought in for slaughter.The sooner the world resorts to lesser amount of meat eating the better it will be .A world with lesser violence and bloodshed.