EntertainmentMark Zuckerberg's high-steak venture. Billionaire criticized for raising cows in Hawaii amidst environmental concerns

Mark Zuckerberg's high-steak venture. Billionaire criticized for raising cows in Hawaii amidst environmental concerns

Mark Zuckerberg started breeding cows.
Mark Zuckerberg started breeding cows.
Images source: © Instagram: Zuck | Instagram: Zuck
12:59 PM EST, January 11, 2024

It's not uncommon for individuals with vast wealth to pursue unconventional hobbies. Mark Zuckerberg provides a prime example, having decided to become a cattle farmer, specializing in the highest quality beef. The cattle are being raised on his property in Hawaii.

Raising Cows with Nut-powered Feed

Mark Zuckerberg shared details of his new venture on Instagram, including photos of himself enjoying a steak. "I've started raising cattle on Ko'olau Ranch in Kauai, with the goal of producing some of the highest quality meat in the world. The cattle, which are Wagyu and Angus breeds, are fed on meals made from macadamia nuts and beer that we grow and produce here on the ranch. We aim to make the entire process local and vertically integrated. Each cow eats between 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of food annually, so we need many macadamia tree plantations. My daughters are involved, too; they help plant macadamia trees and care for various animals. We are still in the early stages of this journey, but we enjoy improving it each season. Of all my projects, this one is the most delicious," Zuckerberg wrote.

Zuckerberg owns a substantial estate on Kauai Island, the oldest in the Hawaiian archipelago. On this property, in addition to cattle barns, is a shelter.

Environmentalists Criticize Mark Zuckerberg's New Venture

Environmentalists around the world have expressed their disapproval of Mark Zuckerberg's cattle-raising venture. Mitch Jones, Policy Director at Food & Water Watch, an American non-profit law and policy organization, told The Guardian, "Raising cattle on water-hungry macadamia nuts and beer showcases the excesses of the wealthy. What we need is genuine agricultural reform, which addresses the inequalities in our food system and the reality of a warming climate."

Journalist Andrew Greenberg sarcastically remarked, "Proud of you man. You really nailed the dream of eating in the most climate-damaging way possible."

Shalin Gala, a representative from PETA, also criticized Zuckerberg's new venture. Gala wrote, "Mark Zuckerberg announces he's now 'started raising cattle' on his Hawaiian estate, feeding them beer, then slaughtering them. Mark, the Dark Ages are calling and want you back."

Activists highlight that the beef Zuckerberg is producing will only be accessible to the wealthier classes. Zuckerberg's product is Wagyu and Angus beef, some of the most expensive meats in the world. Wagyu beef prices can range from 154 to 264 dollars per kilogram. Angus is just a little cheaper, with tenderloin priced at approximately 1.2 dollars per pound.

There's a serious environmental concern as well. The methane cows emit is a potent greenhouse gas. A fully grown cow can release up to 132 gallons of gas daily. Overall, cattle farming contributes 3.7 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is a harmful greenhouse gas, causing about 85 times more warming than carbon dioxide.

Zuckerberg’s Children Involved, Eliciting Further Criticsm

Internet users are also bringing attention to the fact that Zuckerberg's children seem to believe their father is doing something worthwhile. One Instagram user commented, "Take your daughters to the slaughterhouse, Zuck. None of you will be laughing then. Lying to your own children and manipulating them to love, and then kill, beautiful, innocent creatures for a snack is as disgusting and shameful as it sounds." PETA added their voice to the criticism on the billionaire’s post: "Please stick to technology. Every animal has a life. This 'project' kills animals and harms our planet - and it's traumatic for your children. There are so many other productive things you could do, like creating innovative plant-based dishes. These not only save animals, but also help the planet and improve human health."

Some internet users suggested Mark Zuckerberg might consider raising dogs for meat: "Why not raise dogs as well? Then, post a nice picture with a plate of dog steaks to see how many nice comments your post gets. The only sustainable future involves anti-speciesism and veganism. Teach your daughter to respect animals, not how to kill and cook them."

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