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The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt…

The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance (edition 2012)

by Tovar Cerulli

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303367,255 (4.33)1
Title:The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance
Authors:Tovar Cerulli
Info:Pegasus (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Netgalley, Your library

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The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance by Tovar Cerulli



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I’ve been quite fascinated by the questions about where our food comes from over the last couple of years and documentaries such as Food Inc and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals have only added to my interest. Although I have weighed up my carnivore lifestyle numerous times over the last decade, I still keep returning to the meat counter or section. So, what would Cerulli’s The Mindful Carnivore teach me about my attitudes?

I really don’t know what I expected about the book but it raised some real questions that I had never expected to address. Cerulli spends a lot of time considering hunting: hunting for food, hunting for sport. I have never hunted – I have no desire to hunt – but I’m aware of the hypocrisy I would present if I looked down on anyone who hunted for food. Surely it shows more respect for the produce you eat than a schlep to the meat counter does?

Cerulli interweaves this tale of his personal history with food and, specifically, meat with factual information, personal anecdotes, quotations from various sources both pro and anti-hunting and both for and against vegetarianism.

All in all, this is a very very well-constructed book but neither aims to preach nor to condemn but simply to detail one man’s quest for answers about this particular and what he has discovered on the journey. At times touching, at other times disturbing, this is an incredibly emotive book, yet still manages to keep a tight hold of the facts. ( )
  donnambr | Jan 12, 2013 |
As I read this book I discovered that it wasn't just about food or veganism vs. other diets but rather something of a meditation on life, ethics, mindfulness, and the author's internal journey from eating whatever to Vegan and then to a mindful awareness of what and why he is eating.

Cerulli's journey included the fishing he did every summer when young and his gradual conversion to a vegan lifestyle. Then, for health reasons and on the advice of his doctor he began adding dairy and eggs back into his diet. Part of the journey was the author's research into the production of the foods he and Cath were obtaining locally, from the supermarket, and from their own vegetable patch. Becoming aware of how many animals die to produce grains and vegetables, milk and eggs, had him thinking more deeply about man's place in the natural world. It also led to his returning to fishing and then eventually to contemplating taking up deer hunting.

In the end, Cerulli's point isn't that we should all take up fishing and hunting but that everyone should have a deep awareness of their relationship to the meadows, forests and streams and to the plants and animals that co-inhabit them with us and make up the cycle of life that we all belong to.

Well written and well research, [The Mindful Carnivore] immediately drew me in and presented me with much new information (especially about deer and the ins and outs of deer-hunting) and the author's inner struggles as to the ethics of food production, hunting, etc. were enlightening. This turned into an entertaining book I would recommend to a wide range of people. One blubber described it as an "engaging meditation on what it means to be human."
  hailelib | Dec 30, 2012 |
Emotional and thoughtful. I could only take little bits at a time, but it gave me plenty to analyze. The only criticism I suppose I have is it's not really a hunting memoir, but that's the closet genre I can put it in. The cover text makes it sound like it's going to be more of a propaganda piece for an extreme version of "eating local" but rather it's more of a honest ambivalence about how one should get their food sources in a modern society. ( )
  JonathanGorman | Jun 28, 2012 |
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For Willie and Mark,
for all who eat and care,
and for the living earth that feeds us.
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A former vegan returns to eating meat for health reasons and discusses and challenges the behavior of hunters and vegetarians alike, ultimately determining that both groups are motivated by values and instincts that are very similar.

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