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Anthony Bourdain and Jonathan Safran Foer's Meat Showdown

Left: Jonathan Safran Foer.
Left: Jonathan Safran Foer.
Photo: Caroll Taveras

Right: Anthony Bourdain. [Photo: Travel Channel]

Author and vegetarian Jonathan Safran Foer and carnivorous food writer Anthony Bourdain debated the ethics of meat eating on Canadian public radio yesterday. This is not the first time these two have had words on the topic; back in March, Foer came on Bourdain's Turn & Burn show on Martha Stewart radio, and about a year ago they were on Larry King together.

And yesterday was round three! In the radio wave spectrum of Canada! They talked (nicely at first, but with growing heat as the interview went on) about the rationale behind eating fast food, eating dog meat, the Tea Party, and how Thanksgiving turkey is crap.

Foer's main argument with meat eating stems from his problems with the American meat production industry, which is something Bourdain agrees with, and why he avoids "the King, the Clown, the Colonel." Bourdain does say that some people have legitimate reasons to eat at fast food restaurants, such as economic and time constraints, and that it's not quite fair to demonize them.

Bourdain admits that he is privileged enough to buy ethically raised meats, and even concedes the hypocrisy of the fact that he refuses to eat dog — which Foer apparently advocates in his book, "with a wink" — but ultimately thinks of eating meat has a uniting force. He even goes for far as to say, "What other way could I have any other kind of a conversation with Tea Partiers, for instance...I'm pretty sure we could both sit down, and that we like barbecue and beer."

On becoming a vegetarian, Foer claims that he didn't feel the loss of giving up the Thanksgiving turkey "all too powerfully," then adds "this, by the way, is a food that people don't eat the rest of the year because it doesn't taste very good." Maybe Foer just hasn't been eating the right Thanksgiving turkeys! May we suggest someone give him some pointers for making them more delicious? Someone like...Anthony Bourdain?

· Turn & Burn with guest Jonathan Safran Foer [Martha Stewart Radio]
Anthony Bourdain and Jonathan Safran Foer on Larry King Live's 'Is Meat Safe?' Panel
· Q Contest: Should we eat meat? [CBC]
· Anthony Bourdain's Turkey Tips [EMD]
· All Anthony Bourdain Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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