Mark Bittman on Becoming a 'Lessmeatarian'

Photo by PixieClaire001

On the interview circuit in promotion of his new book Food Matters, Mark Bittman gives Library Journal explains the change of his carnivorous ways, shifting more towards a vegetarian diet, or what he calls "lessmeatarian":

Someone just reminded me that I said ten years ago, "If pigs were raised in prison, I wouldn't care as long as they tasted good."

Now I feel like it has to go beyond that. I don't subscribe to the all-creatures-are-created-equal kind of theory, and I do think animals are not human. I don't know if that means they're subhuman or just different than humans, but there's certainly no reason to mistreat them as badly as we do. I guess if you're going to kill them and eat them, you're mistreating them to some extent anyway, but there are degrees of that. Animals have become widgets.

Filming Spain...On the Road Again, the road trip docudrama with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali, was particularly challenging:

You can't really go to Spain and pretend to be on this diet, especially if you're shooting, because when you're shooting, the producer doesn't want to know what diet you're on, the director doesn't want to know what diet you're on—they want you to eat the pork that's sitting in front of you when the cameras are rolling....

Here's what I did: Whenever I was in or near a good market, I'd just buy as many decent-looking fruits and vegetables that I could eat raw as I could.

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