Mark Zuckerberg Faces Controversy Over His-Eat-Only-What-He-Kills-Diet

Posted May 26, 2011

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in the middle of controversy for posting information about his diet on his personal profile. Last year Zuckerberg’s personal goal was to learn Chinese and this year he says “the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself.”

“I’m eating a lot healthier foods. And I’ve learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals,” said Zuckerberg. “It’s easy to take the food we eat for granted when we can eat good things every day.”

On May 4th, Zuckerberg wrote a note to his 847 friends that he “just killed a pig and a goat.” People were upset by the comments. In 2009 Zuckerberg’s personal challenge was to wear a tie every day.

Silicon Valley chef Jesse Cool has been a guide to Zuckerberg on the diet challenge. Zuckerberg lives eight houses away from Cool. Cool owns a local restaurant called Flea Street CafĂ©. Cool introduced Zuckerberg to farmers nearby and advised him to kill his first chicken, goat, and fig. “He cut the throat of the goat with a knife, which is the most kind way to do it,” stated Cool. Graphic.

Once Zuckerberg kills the animals, they get sent to a butcher in Santa Cruz. The butcher cuts the parts and sends them to Zuckerberg and his girlfriend Priscilla. Recently Zuckerberg and his girlfriend ate the heart and liver of the chicken that he killed. Zuckerberg posted a photo of the bird on his Facebook page and what he ate out of it.

Below is an e-mail that Zuckerberg sent to Fortune about the new diet.

To start, let me give you some background on what I’m doing. Every year in recent memory, I’ve taken on a personal challenge — something to learn about the world, expand my interests and teach myself greater discipline. I spend almost all of my time building Facebook, so these personal challenges are all things I wouldn’t normally have the chance to do if I didn’t take the time.

Last year, for example, my personal challenge was to learn Chinese. I blocked out an hour every day to study and it has been an amazing experience so far. I’ve always found learning new languages challenging, so I wanted to jump in and try to learn a hard one. It has been a very humbling experience. With language, there’s no way to just “figure it out” like you can with other problems — you just need to practice and practice. The experience of learning Mandarin has also led me to travel to China, learn about its culture and history, and meet a lot of new interesting people.

This year, my personal challenge is around being thankful for the food I have to eat. I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being thankful for what I have. This year I’ve basically become a vegetarian since the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself. So far, this has been a good experience. I’m eating a lot healthier foods and I’ve learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals.

I started thinking about this last year when I had a pig roast at my house. A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really didn’t want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive. That just seemed irresponsible to me. I don’t have an issue with anything people choose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.