Avital Ronell – a committed vegetarian – relates that one day, at a dinner with Chantal and René Major, she let one dish go by without taking a helping, which caused a certain embarrassment. When she said she had perfectly decent philosophical reasons for not eating meat, Derrida turned to ask her what they were. So Avital told him what it meant to her to incorporate the body of the other. Shortly afterwards, Derrida, who was extraordinarily receptive to this kind of thing, started to speak of carnophallogocentrism rather than phallogocentrism. Later on, with me and in front of me, he said he was a vegetarian. But one day, someone told me he had eaten a steak tartare, as carnivorous a kind of food as you can get. For me, it was as if he had betrayed me. When I spoke to him about it, he initially said I was behaving like a cop. Then he said, neatly: ‘I’m a vegetarian who sometimes eats meat.
Topics : Derrida: A Biography Quotes