Recently I discovered a relatively new food blog called Hezbollah Tofu. As the face of a self-described "Bourdain Veganizing Collective," the site got me thinking a bit more deeply about chef, author, and travel show host Anthony Bourdain. In the past, I'd written him off as annoying but relatively harmless: Narcissistic, yes, and prone to angrily shit-talking those who disagree with him (and sometimes even those who don't), but generally not someone to worry about.
I took his anti-vegetarian and vegan rantings with a big grain of kosher salt. In his book Kitchen Confidential, he writes:
"Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn…Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It’s healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I’ve worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold."
Sticks and stones, right? Wrong. Though it had never occurred to me before, today everything became kristallnacht clear: Who else stereotyped minority groups as "persistent irritants" and "the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit"? Who else saw minority groups as "an affront to all he stood for" and typecast them as physically weaker? Hint: