"Why the fuck can’t I get along with Ted Nugent, eat some barbecue on a person-to-person basis? I’m not saying it’s the answer to world peace, but why not? I know he has a lot of views that I loathe, but I also know he’s a hardworking fucking rock-and-roller. We have things in common. He’s an ultraconservationist. Rock and roll."Ohhh…kay. I used to think there was nothing more repulsive than the thought of Ted Nugent eating barbecue. But there is: Ted Nugent eating barbecue with Anthony Bourdain, talking about politics.
Later in the interview, Bourdain admits to having a "special loathing for vegans." He says of veganism: "I don't have any understanding of it. Being a vegan is a first-world phenomenon, completely self-indulgent."
Sheff changes the subject immediately, but I wish he had asked a follow-up question. Maybe something like, "If vegans are self-indulgent, what does that make you? Aren’t you the one traveling around the world eating every type of animal you can get your hands on without a thought for the animal cruelty or environmental impact that led up to the moment you get to stuff your face with those sheep testicles?"
Bourdain's comments about vegetarians address an anxiety shared by many non-meat-eaters: how to avoid being "rude" to people you love while rejecting the food they offer you:
"[Vegetarians] make for bad travelers and bad guests. The notion that before you even set out to go to Thailand, you say, "I’m not interested," or you’re unwilling to try things that people take so personally and are so proud of and so generous with, I don’t understand that, and I think it’s rude. You’re at Grandma’s house, you eat what Grandma serves you."This preference for people's feelings over the motivations behind vegetarianism is not crazy. But there's an obvious solution: Let Grandma know you don't eat meat. Offer to prepare a meatless meal for her when you go to her house. Vegetarians have figured this out.
I guess Anthony Bourdain lives in a universe where eating in a compassionate way that reflects concern and hope for the well-being of animals, the environment, and the health of the human population is self-indulgent.
But I live in a universe where Anthony Bourdain says of Red Bull, "It tastes like warm urine, but I drink it regularly." So… there’s that.