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Getting To The Meat Of Her Story

Being a "fake vegetarian" may have cost Long Island bartender Kimmi Kappenberg $1 million.

Kappenberg, 28, was given the boot Thursday night in Episode 5 of Survivor: Australian Outback.

In an interview Friday on The Early Show, she described herself as a fake vegetarian because she eats seafood.

"I haven't eaten beef — or any kind of mammals — in 15 years and poultry in 10," she said, adding that she wouldn't compromise these principles for money, even the $1 million prize that goes to the Survivor winner.

"I don't think I could," she said. "If it was a life or death situation, someone is going to hold a gun to my head, maybe, yes, I'll eat a cow."

Kappenberg, who at 5 foot, 10 inches tall towers over most of her former outcasts, found her food choices caused friction with others on her team. In an earlier episode she refused to eat meat — cow's brains — during an immunity challenge and this week, she bonded with the chickens that her tribe mates were planning to eat.

Her actions so angered Alicia Calaway the personal trainer from New York, that the two had a full-blown argument.

"I just had a conflict with her," Kappenberg says of Calaway, later explaining that two had very strong personalities.

"I don't know why the food issue was such an issue," she said. "The only thing I asked them about the chickens is when you kill them, try do it as quickly as possible. You know what? I did not protest the chickens. I'm the one that helped to solve the puzzle so they even won the damn chickens.

"If I was really, like, anti-chicken, i would have, you know, let the chickens go. My whole thing was that while the chickens were there and I was there, I would make sure they had food and water. And make sure they weren't in the hot sun because they should be treated humanely."

She also was asked about accusations that Michael Skupin, the Michigan software company executive, made that she didn't bathe and had rings of dirt on her neck and shoulders.

"It was funny," Kappenberg said. "Even after we were in the water and we were all washing together, I still had the tan mark on it.

"When Mike said that to me, even out there, I was thinking in my head, it is easy for you because you're sitting in a boat fishing all day like Tom Sawyer. You're not carrying jugs up and down, down to the water and you're not standing around a smoky fire."

Kappenberg said she didn't form alliances because she chose a job for one — boiling water — that isolated from the others who worked in pairs or small groups.

The Australian Outback
To read, see and hear more about the sequel to the enormously popular Survivor TV show, click here to visit the official CBS Web site.

But her one luxury — a game of Scrabble — turned out to be helpful to the group when they found themselves with food and no spoons. "We used the Scrabble holders. So we would take a spoonful and pass it around, " she said.

As for the future, Kappenberg says she has no plans, but wouldn't mind if her Survivor experience led to a career in TV production.

"I went to school for journalism and everything. If I can do something with wildlife or documentaries, it would be good," she said.


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