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Meat-monger Mario Batali will release a vegetarian cookbook

We're officially nervous that PETA is taking over the world. Mario Batali, head of an empire that's entrenched in pork fat, beef cheeks and cured meat, is writing a vegetarian cookbook. First

Meatless Monday

and now this? What's the deal?

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In an interview about the subject, Batali confirmed that he's jumping on what he perceives as the next trend. The chef noted that he thinks more people are going vegetarian, and that the focus of consumer attention is shifting to include the farmer along with the chef.

And Batali is shifting away from meat in his personal life, claiming he only eats meat at dinner time, and never on Mondays and Tuesdays.

If this is a true change of heart, more power to Batali. But if it's a marketing ploy, it's a weird one-- if we were looking for a good vegetarian cookbook, the last person we'd trust to guide us down the path of produce would be the man who's made his name working with animal protein. If we were looking to grind a little sausage, on the other hand, well...

No word yet on when the book will be released.

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