Anthony Bourdain has famously few qualms when it comes to consuming, shall we say, overlooked foods, but he's been adamant about drawing the line at dog meat, telling ABC in a 2011 interview that he's "gone out of my way to avoid cat and dog [meat]" and that although "it’s an arbitrary decision," he chooses not to trifle with it. Still, that proclaimed stance didn't keep one protestor from heckling the food writer at a recent San Francisco appearance, the latest in a string of anti-meat and anti-dog meat demonstrations across the Bay Area.
In September, for example, members of the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere barged into the Chez Panisse dining room to make their case against meat-eating in general. And later, under the group's influence, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution condemning a Chinese dog-meat festival. Of that political maneuver, East Bay Express food critic Luke Tsai argued that "moral grandstanding against Chinese dog eaters — a relatively small percentage of people in China — only helps feed into a certain kind of racism and xenophobia."
Bourdain was the latest to be raked over the coals — onstage, no less — on the subject when he spoke last week at the War Memorial Opera House as part of his "The Hunger" tour. TMZ, as it does, acquired the charming video (picked up by Eater), in which a heckler accuses Bourdain of eating dog. Bourdain responds with his usual caustic wit: "How much worse could [dog meat] be than kale?” he jokes.
“It’s so good to be back in San Francisco..." Bourdain added before losing patience and quipping that “Twenty more seconds of this and I’m going out and shooting a puppy in the fucking leg." He punctuated his remarks with a request that the protestor “be kind enough now to fuck off.”
Speaking later to TMZ, Bourdain contextualizes the incident. He was “rudely interrupted mid-dick joke," he says. "As I pointed out to [the heckler], I’ve never eaten dog meat. I have no plans to do so. I like dogs. However, after about three minutes of her harangue I may or may not have threatened to run right out and get myself a puppy smoothie.”