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Post #172 • December 12, 2003, 10:10 AM • 1 Comment

Terry Teachout quotes Anthony Bourdain of Kitchen Confidential:

Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistant irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.

A reader responds:

Leaving aside the fact that being likened to the Hezbollah is a formidable strain on one's sense of humor, Mr. Bourdain is incorrect: as a vegetarian, I love food. My meals are tasty, and I can enjoy them without concern that they have caused the demise of some pleasant creature or the injury of my health. So when he says that I am both an enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit and an affront to all he stands for, I'm obliged to conclude that these two things are mutually opposed. I would invite readers of About Last Night to consider that vegetarianism is similar to the restraint of color in the work of Giorgio Morandi: although the extremes of sensation are not indulged, his work is full of feeling, more so than other painters who use every available hue.

Said reader is yours truly. Teachout answers: "Nice try."




December 21, 2003, 12:13 AM

Excellent parallel between the limited palette and vegetarianism, Mr. Einspruch.

My current writing instructor was rhapsodizing (understandably) about J.M. Coetzee after the Nobel award. Someone mentioned Coetzee's position on animal rights, and the instructor said, "how can he be such a great writer and not eat meat?"

I'm not a true vegetarian, at least not anymore, but I was flabbergasted. All writers have to eat meat? Do they all have to be alcoholics, too?



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