Anthony Bourdain Couldn't Stand People Who Follow This Diet

Anthony Bourdain left a lasting impression on the world with his ardent passion for food and travel, larger-than-life personality, and humanitarianism. The late celebrity chef and bestselling author was also well-known for having strong, often controversial opinions — and not being afraid to express them. A slew of his television co-stars ended up on the receiving end of his sharp-tongued commentary over the years, as Thrillist has pointed out, and he had no problem criticizing food trends that most people adore (via First We Feast). Of all the things Bourdain publicly despised, vegetarians were one of the highest on his list.

Bourdain couldn't stomach his distaste for those who follow a vegetarian or (even worse) vegan diet, and called them "enemies of everything that's good and decent in the human spirit" and an "affront" to the "pure enjoyment of food," according to GoodReads. In a 1999 article he wrote for The New Yorker, he listed many mouth-watering carnivorous delicacies such as veal, organ meats, and fish cheeks, and suggested that not eating meat is "treasonous," a crime historically punishable by death, per Cornell Law School.

In a Playboy Magazine interview referenced by One Green Planet, Bourdain elaborated upon his reasoning, explaining that those who refrain from eating meat make poor traveling companions and unsavory guests. He perceived the unwillingness to sample local fare when dining in new, unusual locations as rude and disrespectful.

Anthony Bourdain admitted to enjoying at least one vegetarian meal on camera

In spite of Anthony Bourdain's highly publicized rift with the vegetarian community, the skilled chef still had an appreciation for their cuisine ... on rare occasions. There's visual proof! A video clip from an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown showed the charismatic host in Punjab, India, happily chowing down on an array of meat-free dishes in a crowded Dhaba, which he defined as a "side-of-the-road food stall." 

Bourdain explained that this type of casual establishment is very common in Northern India, and that he had the good fortune to find one of the best. He merrily dipped homemade naan into a variety of colorful and delicious-looking local fare, including chickpeas, saag, and dahl. Between rapidly shoving bites into his mouth and chewing appreciatively, Bourdain owned up to the fact that he might actually like the scrumptious vegetarian feast in front of him.