Anthony Bourdain accused of being a ‘Grand Guignol of gore’
I am a S.O.B.. Son of a butcher.
When I was about five or six my father took me to see meat being processed. From the slaughter to assembly line butchering. There was loud mooing, squealing, blood, gore, and guts.
He also took me to a live poultry provider. I saw chickens being killed and readied for market.
Far from being traumatized, I was fascinated. My father patiently explained that it was important to know and understand where your food came from and how it was processed.
Early in life I was taught to have a healthy respect for food. I was taught how hard people worked to provide food for the masses. Farmers, ranchers, butchers, and others in the food chain work hard and sometimes dangerously so we can provide sustenance for ourselves and families.
I hunted and enjoyed wild game from other hunters. There is nothing better than a dinner of grouse, squirrel, rabbit, venison, woodcock, dove, duck, goose, quail or pheasant that you spent the day hunting for.
You appreciate food more when you work for it. You are grateful for the opportunity to eat it.
Even in our modern world, there are people who celebrate the killing of the farm animals they raise. They gather together, slaughter, butcher, and prepare the meat for the winter ahead. There is usually a feast at the end. It is a yearly cultural ritual.
There is a petition to get the show, “Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown,” off the air. Animal rights activist, Laura Wade, created a petition to force CNN to cancel the show. The petition is seeking 16,000 signatures. As of this writing there are 15,827.
Ms. Wade was angered that CNN ignored her many letters of protest about Bourdain’s show. She started the petition to publicize her personal gripes.
“Anthony Bourdain’s CNN show, “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” glorifies and wallows in the savage, brutal suffering and slaughter of animals.
It’s not enough for Anthony to just talk about culture and food; he must show a camel having his head slowly and bloodily hacked off, a roasted pig on a plate, and a close-up of a buck being shot to death, emphasizing the expression on the deer’s face for full, horrific impact.”
A roasted pig on a plate? Oh the horror, the horror. Did the pig have an apple in it mouth?
A camel being beheaded, slowly and bloodily? Sounds like halal butchery to me.
“His debauched depiction of the killings of several animals on his show can only be meant to satisfy bloodlust in certain people, but ultimately horrify and scar all other viewers.”
People have a choice. They can flip the channel. The remote makes it so much easier. People do not have to be horrified and scarred. Only the fringe minority are horrified and scarred. Why? Because they chose to be. They did not flip the channel.
“Please tell CNN and Anthony Bourdain that we will no longer be subjected to his Grand Guignol of gore, violence, cruelty and suffering of animals. By signing my petition, you will send a message to heartless executives that animal slaughter and the resulting agony must never be glorified or used as entertainment. Thank you for all who have a heart of human decency; your signature is much appreciated.”
Someone with the patience of a kindergarten teacher should tell miss Wade and her adherents that slaughtering animals for food is a fact of life. There are places in this world where food is more precious than money. In some places, food is money.
There is no heart of human decency in the production of food. It is what it is.
People strive, work, and even suffer to eat. There is no pleasant, non-violent, non-cruel, safe method to kill animals for the table. Certain religions such as Islam and Judaism have strict rules on killing animals.
There are people in the world who must hunt or raise certain animals for their survival. Showing the trials and tribulations they go through to obtain nutrition is educational.
Education is not shocking or appalling. People should know how others must obtain their food for survival.
People should know where their food comes from and how it is produced. Instead of being appalled, people should gain a healthy respect and appreciation for their food.
There is nothing wrong with televising the slaughter of animals for food. Just like there is nothing wrong with showing farmers slaughtering vegetables and fruits for our tables. Vegetables are living things too.
Most people are intelligent enough to know that television can educate as well as entertain. Anthony Bourdain is a documentary maker. He tells stories about people and food in various places. Many of those stories are about people struggling to produce food. Whether it is the back breaking work of the rice farmer or the halal butcher slaughtering a camel.
Anthony Bourdain should be lauded for showing lazy self absorbed Americans what food production is really like. Maybe they will gain a healthy respect for food. Maybe they will learn that for many food production is a struggle.
Bourdain does not glorify the slaughter of animals. He shows what food production is really like in some parts of the world.
Struggle is not pretty. It is violent at times. No one kills food animals for pleasure. They do it in the most humane efficient manner possible. They use the means at hand. A sharp knife, a rifle, pistol, or even breaking the neck.
Some religions demand a precise methodology to kill an animal. Is it wrong to show this? Is it wrong to portray people doing what they believe they are supposed to do?
We are fortunate in America. We can shop for our food. Our meat comes nicely packaged. We are spared the sight of the blood shed and gore of bringing a steak, pork chop, or leg of lamb to the table. None of us has to see a chicken get its neck broke so it can be roasted or made into soup.
Other people are not so fortunate. They live in a daily struggle to eat. The fortunate appreciate fresh killed meat more than store bought.
There is the cultural aspect. In agrarian cultures the annual slaughter is sacred. Whether it is in modern Europe or the wilds of a primitive society. The slaughtering, preserving, and feasting are part of an annual ritual going back centuries.
It is not blood lust. Televising it is educational not shocking.
You do not have to look. Change the channel. You do not have to eat meat. Leave the rest of us alone. You choose to eat like a rabbit. Let us choose to eat the rabbit.
There is only one question. Does method of killing an animal slowly or quickly make it taste better?