4.8 Editor's Pick
June 8, 2018

“Some vegan friends also posted this [Bourdain quote]…not sure how true or if he was serious when he said it.”

What Anthony Bourdain had to say about Veganism.

Some friends of friends who happen to be vegan have been sharing his quote on veganism, today. Here’s my thoughts on that…as a vegan and a Bourdain fan.

I appreciated Anthony Bourdain (here’s my dedication to him today) and mourn the passing of his fierce heart…but eulogies must be genuine, not fake. Life is too full of fake, and he was never fake. So here’s a little truth, offered up on a plate.

He had Veganism all wrong.

From my friend, Ryan, after seeing my:

The last photograph of Anthony Bourdain on his twitter account captures this moment in all its gaddamned sadness.


Ryan: some vegan friends also posted this…not sure how true or if he was serious when he said it.

“Anthony Bourdain on vegetarians and vegans:

“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent 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.

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.

Oh, I’ll accommodate them, I’ll rummage around for something to feed them, for a ‘vegetarian plate’, if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine.””


Me: he definitely said that ?
he was a bad boy, always liked to say whatever he wanted
Ryan: I think he was just being crusty anthony
Me: vegans aren’t arguing that meat doesn’t taste good
humans might taste good
Ryan: true
Me: we’re arguing that killing is sad and unnecessary.

We’re on the same page here. Enjoy the real thing. Skip the chain. High or low fancy or simple—doesn’t matter. What matters is genuine.

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” ~ Kitchen Confidential

He loved sending up all uptightness, including his own.:

“Vegans are disgusting and loathsome. I’m often asked why vegans are the enemy of everything good and decent and must be hunted down and destroyed so their genes don’t pass onto future generations. It’s because if you can’t enjoy even a nice, stinky, runny, ripe cheese like this you may as well kill yourself now.”


Vaguely relephant bonus.

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Sean CP Jun 16, 2018 7:44pm

Özden Arıkan I knew what he presented. Though if you are stating that by not knowing him I should choose to take a negative and attacking outlook on an individual and their life over a loving outlook, I would wonder if you do this with all people, and why?

Sean CP Jun 16, 2018 7:43pm

Omar Lloyd Mate, it is called embelishment. He was a story teller. He marinated his stories just like he would his food, so that when they were bitten into, the bite was juicy. You reply with a passive agressive post, and you speak with the same self righteous nobility that you attempted to attack Bourdain with by taking his life. I can only imagine what his statement means, being as though I (nor you) are him, so we are only placing our opinions as the narrator of his meaning. Though, if you ever listened to any of the statements he said about traveling, he thought the most important thing was to see the world, and the people, and to get to know them and understand their life. And one of the ways he did that was by eating their food. So, possibly, he is stating that by not being open to all of the foods of the world, you in effect close yourself off from understanding people. That would be my take on it. Cheers.

Omar Lloyd Jun 14, 2018 1:52am

Yes, taking his own life is so much more noble than propagating the torture and abuse of animals to feed his "human spirit". Nothing from his quotes makes any sense, just going on some emotional spheal about how vegans are taking his joy. How exactly are they doing that, and how does not eating dead animal flesh mean life is worse for them? Literally makes zero fucking sense

Özden Arıkan Jun 13, 2018 12:12am

and did you?

Sean CP Jun 12, 2018 2:24pm

Every person person who commented on this, minus Ruby, is expecting people to see the world like they do. You're mad at Bourdain over being him, and here you are protesting your points because those points are you. It's a freakin point of view. Your reality is only your own. He did his thing. You do yours. To have no love lost over a living breathing creature dying, taking his own life at that, just shows that you are extremely removed and lost from actually have care and empathy for all living creatures. This is why veganism gets a bad rap. Keep up the good work.

Sean CP Jun 12, 2018 2:21pm

jesus christ. You carry around all that hate and malice in your heart. Look back at yourself. You are a spitting image of narcissism and lack of empathy. You're just a new wave religious nut. Chill out. A life died. All lives are equal, are they not? Stick to your own values, why don't you? You just destroyed your own point with your own words. Good game.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.