To the “mainstream,” actor Chris Pratt is doing something so novel, so jarring and yes, so politically incorrect that it went viral from Instagram the moment he sent out a photo of himself cutting up venison. Pratt said that for 2017 he is only going to eat meat that he, or someone close to him, has killed. (Well, pretty much; he did add a few clauses to his New Years’ resolution for his “Game Plan” diet—I mean, what guy can really give up chicken wings for an entire year?) Now, a lot of hunters are probably thinking, Yeah, I do that already. But don’t let your deeper perspective miss the reality shock this declaration can have on the superficial nature of our pop-culture—or the affects this might have on the mainstream understanding (or misunderstanding) of hunting.
Sure, the Paleo diet has been the rage for some time and many have acknowledged that no meat is as “green” as wild game meat. Wild game meat isn’t just free-range and free of added hormones, it also is lean and it was given the chance to live wild and to evade us. Also, there is still something very distant about eating meat someone you don’t know killed for you. But when you take a bite into meat you killed, or can look across the table at the person who hunted it down and gutted it, then you have to acknowledge, and also feel deep in your gut, that your sustenance didn’t grow in cellophane wrapping.
Though Pratt isn’t a mega-celebrity that even your Great Aunt Gertrude might have heard of, he is a well-known, successful actor. In 2015, Time magazine included Pratt on its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Now 37 years old, Pratt got his big breaks with television roles in the Warner Bros. drama series “Everwood” (2002–2006) and the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” (2009–2015). He has had supporting roles in “Wanted” (2008), “Moneyball” (2011), “The Five-Year Engagement” (2012), “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and “Her” (2013). In 2015, he had a starring role in “Jurassic World.”
But he didn’t get the ultra-Paleo diet idea from his role in “Jurassic World.” He merely grew up like so many of us—as a hunter.
Here’s what he wrote on Instagram:
“Here I am vacuum-packing some deer meat in the kitchen. I grew up in the woods. Not literally. I mean, we had a house. I wasn't raised by coyotes. But I spent a lot of time in the woods. Hunting, fishing and being outdoors with my friends and family is how I spent my free time as a young'n. That part of me will never change. I mean, I'm assuming. I don't know. Maybe it will. It hasn't yet. Maybe one day I'll wake up and be like, "I'm only gonna eat veggies for the rest of my life." If I do that's cool. It's a free country. Anyways. I just filled the freezer with a bunch of tasty meat from an awesome deer hunt in the great state of Texas. Oh! I should tell you: I'm going to start a diet I called "The Game Plan" where basically I only eat wild game for a year. "The Game Plan," get it? Cause GAME? I mean I'll also eat veggies and fruit and other stuff too. But for one year I want to eat only the meats that were caught or killed by me or my friends. Total free-range organic wild game! The game plan. Join me. I mean I'm gonna still eat eggs and probably chicken and probably steak I mean I gotta have steak and oysters and definitely bacon. But other than that. And the occasional burger for a cheat meal. But other than that only wild game. The game plan. I should mention I will also have sushi because I have to have sushi because it's so good. And pepperoni. But that's not a meat technically, right? But other than that, all wild game. And pepperchinis! (That's not how you spell that.) Exclusively wild game. It will be tough. But it's worth the sacrifice. I will be eating turkey for Thanksgiving. Probably fried. That's the best. And also ham. For Easter we make lamb. That's great. Ill have to have lamb that day. So... "The Game Plan" Who's with me!?”
Pratt learned to eat this way when he had to lose 60 pounds he put on to play his Andy Dwyer character in the show “Parks & Recreation.” To get in shape for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” his 2014 Marvel Comics superhero film, Pratt basically went on a Paleo diet and so mostly said goodbye to carbs.
Through stories like Pratt’s, the mainstream is learning that hunting isn’t just good for conservation—but also for our health.