Berkeley High’s BBQ Club roasted an entire pig on campus on Thursday. Photos: Andy Spear

At the risk of alienating every vegetarian and vegan reader we have — something we definitely do not want to do — we bring you more carnivorous capers (on the heels of this story about a new gourmet butcher in Berkeley, and this story about a charcuterie business launch).

Students at Berkeley High have become accustomed to eating the fruits of the weekly Seniors BBQ Club — a popular club which, rather astonishingly for this otherwise egalitarian city is restricted to male students. [Ed: Glad to say a correction is in order here: we are reliably informed girls are not only allowed in to the BBQ Club, but are currently active members in it.]

Thursday saw a special feast with the roasting of an entire pig on campus. Citizen reporter Andy Spear sent in these photos of the major culinary production in action.

Berkeley High Principal Pasquale Scuderi carves the pig at the BBQ

Because cooking an entire pig takes time, the chefs were up early — as early as 3:30am we understand — and, to show solidarity, BHS Principal Pasquale Scuderi was up at the crack of dawn too to help out and to do the carving honors.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Dude…This is Berkeley HIGH SCHOOL. Last I checked they don’t include West Coast high schools in the Ivy League. 

    Nothing else to say about the uber-capitalized rant.



  4. I think that it is ridiculous that a harmless, just for fun, high school club is gardening this much, negative, attention. They’re just kids and I think that it was very courageous for their principle to allow them to do what they wanted, knowing he would receive flack from the local community. One thing Berkeley, as a whole, needs to work on is, their constant, instant flack on anything that isn’t status quo. Free speech people, you guys started the movement so let it continue. 

  5. Sustenance ≠ gratuitous, frivolous

    Go complain to a hawk that it’s cruel of her to kill a field mouse.
    Go whine to a lion that he ought to consider tofu instead of wildebeest.

  6. Hi… I was referencing that *YOUR* voice had a right to be heard…

    Since this is an open forum on a public World Wide Web venue why shouldn’t I comment if I find something to be exactly what the author intended it not to be: “offensive”.  I have an obligation as a decent, caring human to defend victims.  Certainly I see animals killed for gratuitous, frivolous pleasure as victims.  Don’t you? 

  7. I’m not saying they don’t have a right to be heard. I just think it’s ridiculous that you’re trying to change the definition of the word “deceased” to push your political agenda, and I question why someone who lives in Salt Lake City and isn’t from Berkeley is commenting on a website about local news in Berkeley.

    Activism of the type you’re practicing doesn’t actually get people to change their behavior. For every one person you convince to alter their eating habits (have there been any?) dozens more will eat more meat out of spite because they don’t like people telling them what to do.

    Your writing style sounds very, very similar to local “vegan activist” Vladislav Davidzon who was attacking the proprietors of SLOW recently.

  8. BeaElliott, I apparently cannot refer to your vegan activist trolling without getting my comments deleted, so we cannot have a discussion. Sorry.

  9. What does living somewhere like Salt Lake have to do with the WORLD WIDE WEB?  I believe this is how open communication and the sharing of information works… Is this web-page part of an exclusive club or something?

    Knowledge ought to be shared with all who desire to listen and learn from… And challenge with authentic arguments if they disagree.  You are elbowing out free speech because it is contrary to your ideology… That’s not very open minded.  

    Let’s discuss this – Why do you think you have a right to take a life when it’s not necessary to do so? 

  10. Someone that is murdered is just as deceased as someone who died of natural causes. The meanings of words don’t change just to fit your political agenda.

    I see that you’re also trolling an online publication in Salt Lake. Do you actually live in either of these places, or are you just indiscriminate when it comes to spewing your vegan politics?

  11. Hi!  “Deceased” indicates that the pig “died”… Let’s get this first fact straight – He was killed against his will.  He most certainly wanted to live just like you, me or any dog/cat did.  I know if I were killed “against my will” my final minutes of resistance, panic and fear would be torture.  Can you walk in this pig’s skin for just a few minutes? 

  12. Yes indeed – And I assure you this conversation isn’t going away either.  As we learn more and more about animal awareness and become more “civilized” in our habits – This challenge of meat or not will continue and escalate till reason rules the day.  

    That’s the way it is – Meet you on the flip side of this debate.  It will come with or without you or me. 😉

  13. Unpopular opinion, maybe, but I kinda like the whole “bros only” vibe – not saying girls should be excluded (power to Vivian and Julie), but BBQ Club has traditionally been the unofficial frat of BHS. And now we have Shake & Bake reppin’ the sorority half, so everything’s awesome. Look, not advocating for the patriarchal paradigm/gender inequality here, but, jesus, CHILL. It’s high school – we have fun.

  14. What, so now women are all tender-hearted flowers who weep at the sight of…pork? So much for egalitarianism.

  15. I realize that my last comment was not as respectful as was appropriate, and I apologize for that.

    I would nonetheless like to clarify the point I was attempting to make. It seems to me that not alienating people generally requires more than simply saying that you don’t want to alienate them. Thus, your paragraph about vegetarians and vegans seems like less of an attempt at addressing the concerns that have been raised than a shout-out to those who want to believe that all vegetarians and vegans are so sensitive to meat stories as to want to shoot the messenger every time a story like this comes up. As someone who doesn’t fit that caricature, I found that a little bit annoying.

    As for your upcoming article on speed dating, I doubt I will find it interesting. I’m sure it will be well-written, but it’s just not a topic that I find interesting. (My lack of interest stems from a belief that such events tend to arise from a pursuit of personal purity, to surround oneself by people who are similar, rather than an effort to create change). I bother to make this point not because I see my own preferences as particularly important but to request that you not paint vegans and vegetarians with so broad a brush. Just like we aren’t all alienated by the same things, we don’t all like the same stories.

    As my last comment shows, I’m certainly not always the best or most diplomatic communicator. It would be hypocritical for me to point fingers here, but I did want to bring attention to things that might be done differently in the future. Thanks.

  16. As far as I am aware, the students purchased the pig after it was already deceased, which means that the boys and girls could not have tortured the pig.

  17. She’s not a conservative – or a liberal – just a troll.  That’s all.  Just noise for the sake of it.  Silliness on a Sunday.

  18. Colin Dodsworth and Micheal Castleberry started the BHS BBQ club in 1998, as I recall, and from its founding women were welcome.

  19. Just in case anyone needed it, we now have living proof on the list that conservatives are stupid. 

  20. I make my own tofu from scratch, and can also butcher a goat!  Both tasty, both fun cooking projects.  Neither in any way political, luckily for those of us who love food and don’t give a hag about politics.

    Mmmmmm…Berkeley is food heaven.  It’s why I live here!  My neighborhood is YUMMY!

  21. Shoot – you have a bad attitude, even for a troll.

    This lady lives in Berkeley and loves it. It’s a beautiful day – get outside and enjoy it!  Lovely lovely weather…It might make you less angry.

  22. a vegan diet is  the  main cause of brain abnormalities ,  this  happened  to millions  who voted for  obama 

  23. bea,,,,,,close  the  trailer  door  and turn down the  heat  your bean curd  is boiling  over 

  24. I notified  the  obama  administration and  there  will be  new  pig  roasting  rules  next  year……and  maybe  an age  limit  to teenage pig  consumers  as  well…… 

  25. how  about  mentioning  a  story  that  vegans  are depriving  themselves  of  protein …I see  these  skinny  hair  falling  out  vegans  all over  berkeley  …eek 

  26. did  the  muslims  students  sue  for  equal food  rights …maybe  they  can  register  the  complaint on tuesday  with michelle  obama 

  27. Yes, there are many vegetarians in the world who avoid meat for many reasons:  some religious, some for ethics, some for health reasons etc.  It’s a fine choice and a varied cuisine.  

    But others eat meat, like it, and are still going to do so despite lectures from well-meaning vegetarians.  That’s the way it is.

  28. Too bad they didn’t hunt the pig themselves, there are waaaay too many feral pigs in our neck of the woods.

  29. Ahhh… Females.  But any ladies?  Most true ladies and gentlemen would eschew the site of a sacrificed being – I think that’s where the “civilized” gene kicks in! 😉

  30. this picture was taken before lunch had been let out.  around 200 students attended-both female and male

  31. They’ve gotten a lot of complaints in the comments about articles about butchers, and especially about articles that have photographs of dead animals in them.

    I’m not one of the complainers, but I think it’s nice that the writers actively monitor the comments and attempt to address the concerns of their readers.

  32. What a sight!  Yeah, the once living pig-on-a-spit is a horrible vision — He got a raw deal that’s for sure. 🙁

    But in both photos you can count the ladies (far, far in the background) on… Well – On two fingers!  Ha!  You guys really know how to draw a crowd huh? LOL!
    Guess all these carnivore he-men-types like hanging out with their “machismo” selves and alienating the gals too!  Cuz ya sure done it here Bro!

  33. Glad both the girls and boys liked torturing the pig. Hopefully the women left the club due to their concern of animal cruelty, come on girls do the right thing!  Did they slaughter and skin the pig on campus too? They should have done all if doing it at all. That principal sure could use a shot of compassion. 

  34. What’s up with the bit about alienating vegans and vegetarians?

    As an herbivorous reader, I’m not particularly bothered by the story. After all, I live in Berkeley, where eating plants is just something you tell other people to do, and only when you’re not too busy hunting a wild boar or having a weekend-long goat-roasting party. I can handle this kind of thing.

    Imagine for a moment that you, like most Berkeleyans, are somewhere left of center politically, it’s December of 2011, and for whatever reason, you’re somewhere in the middle of Iowa. One morning, you pick up the local paper and see a front page story about a recent campaign appearance by Newt Gingrich. Chances are it’s not the article you’re most eager to read, and you’re glad you weren’t at the event, but you don’t begrudge the local paper for covering it. Sure, Newt’s campaign hasn’t been relevant since, well, ever, but it’s something that happened, and, hey, it’s more interesting than anything that happened to you yesterday.

    But then you start reading the article, and you come to a sentence like this: “At the risk of alienating every left-of-center reader we have — something we definitely do not want to do — we bring you more stories of Republican candidate visits (on the heels of a story about Sarah Palin’s meet-and-greet, and an article about Herman Cain).”

    Don’t you think you’d find it a bit weird? The writer and editors have done all of the following:
    1. Suggested that you are so sensitive as to be offended by the decision to cover something that happened.
    2. Indicated that they don’t want to offend you.
    3. Reminded you of additional stories which they think you might find equally offensive.
    4. Published the story that they were concerned might offend you.

    My guess is it might leave you feeling mildly annoyed, but mostly just perplexed. That’s where I am with this story. I won’t deny that some vegetarians might be bothered by coverage of a pig roast, but I can’t imagine why you would think that that sentence would make it any better to those who are.

    If you want to cover stories like this without alienating vegans and vegetarians, the best you can do is probably to cover them without expressing concern that you might alienate vegans and vegetarians. And, hey, it wouldn’t hurt to make an extra effort to publish a few stories of interest to vegetarians and vegans.

  35. shouts out to one of the originators  and founders of the club Michael Appleberry. Some people thought it was silly but still going after 10 years with the principal joining in. 

  36. My daughter is a member of the BHS BBQ club.  It may have been male only in the past, but no more.

  37. “Students at Berkeley High have become accustomed to eating the fruits of
    the weekly BBQ Club — a popular club which, rather astonishingly for this
    otherwise egalitarian city is restricted to male students.”

    A club that uses public funding pointlessly discriminating against women?

    I smell a lawsuit.