Killing Your Dinner: Why Locavorism Isn’t for the Elite


One of my favorite chefs, who I think is doing food right, is Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill restaurant in Manhattan and Blue Hill at Stone Barns near Tarrytown, New York.

Recently I came across an interview with him by CNN in reaction to Mark Zuckerberg’s comment on his private Facebook page that he had “just killed a pig and a goat”–to eat. While some people claim that killing animals yourself for food is elitist, Dan Barber takes the locavore perspective.

According to CNN, Zuckerberg has made killing any meat he eats this year his personal goal, which Barber says is “an incontestably moral act.” Barber has slaughtered animals for meat himself. “I do think it’s important for anyone who wants to be conscious of their food and where it comes from,” he says.

(That’s why, one of these days, I’m going to kill my own chickens.)

I like what Barber says when asked how we can accomplish slaughtering our own animals on a large scale: “The problem isn’t the expense; it’s the inconvenience. I’m not suggesting that the future of locavorism will look like a world of hunter gatherers — and it won’t be all farmers’ markets either.”

“For this movement to work, we have to establish a system of well-coordinated regional “foodsheds” (networks that encompass farms, markets and consumers), each suited to what it can best grow. That means more farmers, but also more local distribution and processing centers, reviving the regional infrastructure that’s disappeared over the last 50 years. Call it regionavore — the next step in the locavore movement.”

And, this statement pretty much sums up the last two years for me: “Killing your own food is an incontestably moral act,” says Barber. “I think that’s something people recognize once they see the process, if it’s done respectfully. That’s reinforced for me in the kitchen every day. I can tell by the way something tastes–by the texture of the meat, for instance — whether that animal was treated with respect in death.”

Check out the rest of the interview for the whole story.

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One response to “Killing Your Dinner: Why Locavorism Isn’t for the Elite

  1. David M. Carmisciano

    How is killing an animal for your own food elitist? Have these people ever plucked and dressed a chicken? It’s messy and bloody at best. Now that’s what I call elitist. I supposed the lion, tiger etc. should go to the supermarket and buy the industrialized feedlot raised crap offered for sale rather than killing their own food. They’re such elitst snobs! I’m sure that Mr. Barber will considered a little off the wall regarding his assertion that he can taste whether the animal was “killed with respect”. However, based on my own experience, he is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

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