Have you heard about Mark Zuckerberg? He’s bested me again. Not that I’m usually measuring myself against him. But he always seems to be ahead of me and taking everything to the infinite power. I had a little moderate success with a Silicon Valley business. Then he goes and invents Facebook. Last year, I committed to learning Spanish. He learned Mandarin. I retired to a life of farming and had just decided to set myself the challenge, this August, of eating all my meals from what I’m growing on Flying Terrier Farms. Now he announces that for THE NEXT ENTIRE YEAR, he’s only going to eat meat that he kills. He’s already offed a pig, a lobster and a goat. Even if I snark about how unKosher his eating habits are, he still makes my plan to eat only the vegetables I grow look pretty tame. Damn you, Mark Zuckerberg!
But I’m bucking up. I’m not going to let the billionaire down the 101 make me feel bad about what now seems a modest goal. Then, as I read further into the story, I started to see some chances for synergy. And enough material to let me smirk and say, “Tourist. Dilettante.” First of all, a Bay Area chef who lives near him is guiding him through this adventure. If I’m reading between the lines correctly here, I would suspect that what is really happening is that he’s being squired to a local abattoir and allowed to WATCH the slaughter of animals. Maybe sharpen a knife or two. By his own admission, the prospect of killing the animals he eats has led him to eat vegetarian the majority of the time and, when he does participate in the slaughter, to use every bit of the animal.
I say: “Good for him”. He’s getting in touch with sustainable farming practices and he’s learning to respect the sacrifice of an animal for the plate by making sure all of it is used and savored. Very European of you, Mark, and I mean that as high praise.
What’s surprising is the vitriol that’s being hurled his way. A number of people on Facebook were posting the story with comments like, “Gross”, “Sick”. In this article, it’s even suggested that he’s gone all Howard Hughes on us and is paranoid about his food sources. (Not that, if you’ve seen Food Inc., you wouldn’t have good reason to be paranoid.)
I say Mark Zuckerberg isn’t taking it far enough. I’m here to help him.
Mark, call me, email me, friend me on Facebook! I’ve got a proposition.
I think you should sign up for an apprenticeship at Flying Terrier Farms. It will be more than a way to get in touch with the vegetables you eat. You’ll find yourself at one with most Third World countries. Because it’s all feast or famine at Two Terriers. Either we have enough radishes and beets to choke a horse or we have only a few measly peas and some very oddly shaped squash to show for our efforts. There’s never really a balanced meal. But that’s okay. Makes you tougher. Makes you appreciate your food.
I suspect, having conquered the known Interwebs, you are looking for new challenges in your life. There’s always a challenge at Flying Terrier Farms. Like the time I planted what I thought were watermelons and got half a dozen different types of melon, none of which were watermelons. Or how about when I purchased what were billed as heirloom tomato starts from a dodgy roadside vendor and got cherry tomatoes that were just as tasteless as what you can find at your average Safeway. All part of the experience. It’s character building.
Want to kill your own meat? I’ve got some destructive, non-native wild turkeys that need a bullet or two.
In fact, why not kick it up a notch? Why not go completely off the grid and stay at our tent cabin. There is running water in an outdoor shower and an Incinolet toilet (“Turns your waste into harmless ash!”) in an outhouse. Otherwise, there are just thin walls of plasticized canvas between you and Miss Kitty, our Mountain Lion.
In fact, that’s the ultimate challenge: why not put yourself in a position where you are not top of the food chain? Miss Kitty doesn’t care about your billions and she’s been seen hunting around.
C’mon. It’ll be fun.
And if you survive Miss Kitty and we actually get a harvest, I’ll teach you how to can.
Jeez, even you couldn’t pay for this experience.
Don’t even get me started on the winemaking. Cousin John and I have some great plans for you…