Best-selling author Tim Ferriss has what you might call a bone to pick.
The matter involves one of his popular titles, "The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life."
See, there's a section in "The 4-Hour Chef" called "The Wild." As you might imagine by that single word, one aspect of this section deals with what it actually takes to get food — of the animal variety — to the table. And Ferriss tells readers right up front: "This section is intended to make you uncomfortable. It will force you to question yourself, your limitations, and your beliefs. View it as an exercise."
In other words, hunting and prepping animals for mealtime — and the messiness that entails.
Which is why Ferriss is none too pleased with some European publishers of "The 4-Hour Chef" who he said are cutting over 80 pages from "The Wild" section — specifically the parts that deal with references to knives, guns, or hunting:
It's a bummer that European publishers want to cut 80+ pgs from the WILD section of The 4-Hour Chef. Anything with knives, guns, or hunting.— Tim Ferriss (@tferriss) October 23, 2014
"Knives? Man's oldest tool," Ferriss told TheBlaze. "Every human should know how to use one. Hunting and fishing? European countries all have long traditions of hunting or fishing, without exception."
While Ferriss told TheBlaze the whole thing is "hugely disappointing," he took time to flesh out his concerns regarding the edit job from across the pond and what it might mean — and most importantly, what readers of Europe's slimmed-down version are missing out on.
"For me, the WILD section of 'The 4-Hour Chef' is arguably the most important," Ferriss noted to TheBlaze.
"It's a philosophical and practical reality check, complete with tools, that is intended to make readers more conscious and appreciative of their daily choices," he added. "To remove it from the book is to rob readers of one of the greatest gifts you could give them: becoming more awake."
"I think it's important for people to understand where their food comes from. For me, this meant becoming a hunter while writing 'The 4-Hour Chef' so that I could use my own hands (and accept the responsibility) for killing or foraging my meals. It's an amazing education, and I think many of society's ills could be cured if more people were required to experience this, even for a day. It makes you both more conscious and more capable. Most people think, as I did for a long time, that hunters are uneducated killers fueled by blood lust and beer. That's the unfair picture that media tend to paint. I learned to dig deeper. Of course, there are some people who fit this description, but there are many I've met like Steve Rinella — responsible, piercingly intelligent, ethical hunters who eat what they kill and who understand the subtleties of nature, including preserving the ecosystems around us."
Ferriss said he's well aware how easy it is to forget where food comes from. "It's not born in plastic wrap," he explained. The author added that the larger point is that "when we forget origins or — even worse — choose to ignore them, we lose respect for the world around us."
As you might imagine, a number of Ferriss' Twitter followers had strong reactions to "The Wild" section getting sliced and diced:
@tferriss So shortsighted. They're shaming the wrong things. Without knives, guns, and hunting/farming Europe wouldn't have food.— Bill Trammel (@trammel) October 23, 2014
@tferriss Are Europeans really that politically correct? I always assumed it was a generalization or stereotype.— Alex Kirby (@AlexJKirby) October 23, 2014
@tferriss Sounds like some heavy censorship to me. Those sections are like survival 101.— wilson smith (@uuilson) October 23, 2014
In the end, Ferriss told TheBlaze, the more we "kowtow to political correctness on these topics, the more we ignore the inevitable cycles of life and death related to food" and "the more we ignore problems that need fixing."