May 28, 2011— -- Slaughtering your own food? Mark Zuckerberg "likes" this.
Zuckerberg, the 27-year-old founder and CEO of Facebook, has taken on a new hobby, according to Fortune, which reported that Zuckerberg updated his status on his personal Facebook page: "I just killed a pig and a goat."
Zuckerberg chooses a new challenge each year that helps him get away from all things Facebook.
In an email to Fortune, Zuckerberg said he chooses a "personal challenge -- something to learn about the world, expand my interests and teach myself greater discipline."
In 2009, Zuckerberg wore a tie every day. Last year, he spent an hour each day learning Chinese.
"I've always found learning new languages challenging, so I wanted to jump in and try to learn a hard one. It has been a very humbling experience. With language, there's no way to just 'figure it out' like you can with other problems -- you just need to practice and practice," Zuckerberg said.
This year Zuckerberg decided he would appreciate his food more if he learned the process of killing the animal and cooking it.
"I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being thankful for what I have," Zuckerberg said.
He also wrote that he would only eat animals that he has killed himself, which would mean he'd be a makeshift vegetarian when eating out at restaurants.
"So far, this has been a good experience. I'm eating a lot healthier foods and I've learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals," Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg said he first started on the idea when he held a pig roast at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was surprised by his guests' comments about eating the pig.
"A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really didn't want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive. That just seemed irresponsible to me," Zuckerberg said. "I don't have an issue with anything people choose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from."
To assist him with his new hobby was chef and neighbor Jesse Cool, who owns Flea Street Cafe, a restaurant that uses only sustainable goods and organic, locally grown food. Cool introduced Zuckerberg to slaughtering the livestock and then taking it to a local butcher for processing.
A representative from Facebook said they would not comment beyond what had already appeared in Fortune.
Setting a Livestock Slaughtering Trend
A New York slaughterhouse, Madani Halal, credits Zuckerberg for a recent increase in people looking to slaughter their own food.
"Right now there are a lot of people who are interested [in slaughtering] but haven't taken the initiative," said Imran Uddin, the owner. "Zuckerberg is a big influence on society, and when you have someone like Mark to start this trend it will initiate peoples' inner desires to do this."
A farmer in Everett, Wash., Bruce King, opens his farm up to those wishing to come and kill for food. He teaches classes called "Primal to Plate," which instruct people on how to slaughter livestock and poultry properly. One course teaches students how to process a pig for barbecues or even raise their own for slaughter.
A student's responsibilities for the class, according to King's website: wear rubber boots, rain pants and don't faint.
King says he has noticed an increase in people desiring to kill what they eat, but the popularity developed long before Zuckerberg.
"I think Zuckerberg is noticing a trend that has already been going," King said. "He might bump it a little but I have seen a growing interest long before this."
Even though King has seen the kill-what-you-eat trend in the making for a while, he said he does applaud Zuckerberg's new hobby.
"Meat comes from animals and if you know that, it changes the way think about them and the food you're eating," King said. "People are going to think Mark is odd for doing this -- that it's weird or unusual -- but I think everyone should hold a knife at least once."