The Real Reason David Moscow Rarely Eats Meat Anymore - Exclusive

David Moscow's travel/food show "From Scratch," now in its second season, vividly depicts the reality of harvesting the animals and plants needed to cook a high-end restaurant menu. The show takes Moscow all around the world and introduces him to cultures whose dietary traditions put him up close and personal with the animals that are hunted and eaten. "All cultures come up with some reason why we are eating the animals," Moscow told Mashed during an exclusive interview. "And usually that is because it puts people above or at least alongside other animals in the animal kingdom." Two episodes in Season 1 were particularly distressing for Moscow, who now eats vegan or vegetarian five or six days a week. 

The first life-changing experience happened in Mexico where he had to hunt and kill a wild boar. Hidden in a hunting blind, Moscow shot the boar with a rifle. At first, he wasn't emotionally connected to the killing, "It's almost like a video game. There's a remove." When Moscow and his hunter-guide emerged from the blind and approached the dying boar, he was overcome with waves of emotion, especially when he learned he had shot a sow. It was getting dark, and Moscow found her lying in the field still alive. 

"She looked at me with this big eye that was like God's flashlight, like 'what have you done?'" The hunter-guide pulled out his pistol to finish the sow off, but Moscow insisted that it was his job since it was his show that brought them to this moment. "So this was a moment of transformation for me," Moscow recalled. "When I shot her, it changed how I eat meat now." 

David Moscow wants all animals raised and killed humanely

The format for the Texas episode of "From Scratch" was different from others. Rather than have David Moscow search for several ingredients, the episode instead focused on how barbecue is made from all parts of a cow throughout the Lone Star State. The slaughter of the cow was the centerpiece of the episode, and Moscow found a small, humane slaughterhouse and farm, where the animals were free-grazing and raised with kindness. Unlike other slaughterhouses where death is salvation from a life of "terribleness," as Moscow put it, the cows at this small slaughterhouse lived good lives until their final moment. 

Moscow stepped into the pen with the selected cow, and he swears the cow knew what was about to happen. The FDA would not allow Moscow to fire the air stun gun into the cow's brain. When it was done, the cow was brain dead but still alive, and Moscow began to start butchering the animal. It was an intense, visceral experience for Moscow, but he was somewhat comforted to learn that every part of the cow would be used. 

Moscow comes from a family of meat-eaters — although his father, who writes for "From Scratch," won't eat pork anymore — and leaving his food culture behind is a major shift for him. Moscow rarely eats meat now, and the only time he might indulge is if the animal was raised and killed humanely, and the meat producers who have done so were paid well for it. Moscow claims that many people don't care or want to know where a packaged steak or pork chop comes from. And until "From Scratch," Moscow was pretty much the same. "Now that I've killed the animals that I'm eating, I see what that means." 

To watch David Moscow's continuing adventures into the unknown, tune in to Season 2 of "From Scratch" Sundays at 10/9c on FYI.