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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg kills for his own meat. Like?

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, making a speech in April, 2011.

Kimihiro HoshinoAFP/Getty Images/Kimihiro HoshinoAFP/Getty Images

You've likely had this conversation with family and friends: If you had to kill the animals yourself, exactly how much beef, pork and chicken would you actually eat?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is trying to answer that question the hard way.

"The only meat I'm eating is from animals I've killed myself," the Facebook founder and CEO told CNN. Otherwise, he's eating vegetarian.

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As CNN reports, it's an odd dietary direction for the 27-year-old Internet billionaire. But he says that since he has taken to killing goats, pigs and chickens himself, "I'm eating a lot healthier foods. And I've learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals. It's easy to take the food we eat for granted when we can eat good things every day."

It's the latest in a string of annual personal challenges Mr. Zuckeberg sets for himself. In 2009 he wore a tie every day. Last year, he learned Mandarin.

This year, he hooked up with a Silicon Valley chef named Jesse Cool, who has introduced Mr. Zuckerberg to nearby farmers and advised him as he killed his first chicken, pig and goat, reports CNN. The animals are then butchered and Mr. Zuckerberg and his longtime girlfriend do the cooking. Yes, he posts the dishes on his Facebook page.

If you're a meat eater, it's hard to argue with his logic: "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," he wrote in an e-mail to CNN. His first kill, apparently, was a lobster.

While perhaps less testosterone-fueled than the iconic hunting ethos of other historic American cultural figures like Theodore Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway (for a great photo of Mr. Hemingway with a felled lion and other beasts, check out this PBS bio page), Mr. Zuckerberg's new-found interest in hunting does reflect our culture's current obsession with local, organic and from-the-farm eating.

Mr. Hemingway used his safari experiences as influence in such works as The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Mr. Zuckerberg? Well, watch for his status updates, I guess.

Is Mr. Zuckerberg's commitment to DIY slaughtering something you'd do if you had the leisure time, or is it merely a hipster indulgence? Could Mr. Zuckerberg, in his own way, be the heir to the "best-self" mantle of the now-shuttered Oprah show?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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