Mark Zuckerberg has begun personally slaying animals for food, part of a resolution to fully appreciate the meat he eats. The Facebook CEO's slaughter has been wide ranging, claiming a goat, pig, chicken and a lobster.

"He cut the throat of the goat with a knife, " Zuckerberg pal Jesse Cool told Fortune, "which is the most kind way to do it."

Zuckerberg said he's trying, throughout 2011, to be fully thankful for the meat he consumes, in the same way he took up the challenge of learning Mandarin in 2010. He got the idea, he said, after some guests winced at the sight of a whole pig he roasted at his house last year:

That just seemed irresponsible to me. I don't have an issue with anything people choose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.

Since running Facebook leaves little time for butchery, Zuckerberg has mostly been vegetarian. When he does have a chance to take an animal, he makes the most of his prey; he and girlfriend Priscilla Chan ate not just the usual poultry cuts from his chicken slaughter, but the heart and liver, as well. The feet were used for stock. Or, as Fortune dramatically put it, "Zuckerberg and his longtime girlfriend... eat what many people would not dare consume." Cue horror music!

Zuck's first kill, a lobster, was a more conventional meal (he boiled it alive) albeit an eerily tasty one. "The most interesting thing was how special it felt to eat it after having not eaten any seafood or meat in a while," Zuck told Fortune.

Zuck has been documenting his and Chan's meat adventure on a private Facebook page, complete with photographs. It has, he told Fortune, taught him a lot about sustainable farming and animal husbandry. It's also given him a lesson in backlash: Many of Zuckerberg's 847 friends have weighed in on his posts with "a mixture of confusion, curiosity, and outright disgust."

Now that the story of his diet has gone public, the emotional response will only be amplified. But, barring any unsightly bloodlust videos, the hubbub will accrue to Zuckerberg's benefit. The most thoughtful, responsible and culinarily skilled observers of the meat industry have been advocating this sort of engagement with animals for years, the landmark (and mouthwatering) River Cottage Meat book foremost among them. Which means that, for once in recent memory, Mark Zuckerberg actually may have ethics on his side. He might as well make the most of it. Do a cow next, Zuck!

[Photo of Zuckerberg via Getty. Photo of a cows grazing on a farm via Shutterstock]