Anthony Bourdain, Father, on fast food



And since then it’s all been about the little girl. Because I am acutely aware of the fact that she’s a blank page, her brain a soft surface waiting for the irreversible impressions of every raised voice, every gaffe and unguarded moment.

I’m not against hamburgers. But I believe that a burger should be made of “beef” (not necessarily the best beef, but definitely recognisable as something that was, before grinding, mostly red, reasonably fresh, presumably from a steer or cow, something that your average doberman would find enticing). I don’t believe my hamburger should have to come with a warning to cook it well done to kill off any potential contaminants or bacteria.

It is repugnant, in principle, to me – the suggestion that we legislate against fast food. We will surely have crossed some kind of terrible line if we are infantilised to the extent that the government has to step in and take the Whoppers out of our hands. It is dismaying – and probably inevitable. When we reach the point where we are unable to raise a military force of physically fit specimens, or public safety becomes an issue after some lurid example of a large person blocking a fire exit, they surely shall.

But if you are literally serving shit to children, then I’ve got no problem with a jury of your peers wiring your nuts to a car battery and feeding you the accumulated sweepings of the bottom of a monkey cage. In fact, I’ll hold the spoon.

In this way, me and the PETA folks and the vegetarians have something in common. They don’t want us to eat any meat. I’m beginning to think, in light of recent accounts, that we should, on balance, eat a little less meat. PETA doesn’t want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle deep in their own crap, because they don’t want any animals to die – ever – and basically think that chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don’t want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them provably less delicious. And, often, less safe to eat.