Most helpful positive review
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A fascinatingly unique call to arms for hunter-anglers and environmentalists
on September 11, 2012
Some 50 years after Rachel Carson's Silent Spring set the environmentalist movement in motion, Landers' newest book has the potential to set the "invasivore" movement in full swing.
The term invasivore succinctly describes Landers' vocation and the book itself: hunting and fishing non-native species. Then eating them.
Eating Aliens chronicles Landers' pursuit across the country to hunt or fish black spiny-tailed iguanas, green iguanas, pigs, armadillos, lionfish, European green crabs, Asian carp, nutria, Canadian geese, tilapia, plecos, armored catfish, snakeheads, and Chinese mystery snails -- using modern firearms and tackle, as well as simple pellet rifles and knives.
Equal parts travelogue and essay, he describes each pursuit in detail, leaving you with many memorable anecdotes -- and wanting similar stories of your own.
He goes to great length to describe the effect each invasive species is having on the environment it encroached upon, alongside useful advice for pursuing (and eating) them yourself.
You see him struggle and succeed, as well as completely fail (he never actually catches one of the species mentioned above -- you'll have to read his book to find out which -- and the shocking reason why.)
Yet throughout, it's clear that his biggest roadblock came from needlessly strict (sometimes outdated) state hunting and fishing laws or local ordinances, often combined with ignorant government workers enforcing them or a naive community of citizens.
He argues that the successful elimination of these species, which are undeniably wreaking havoc in our backyards and local ecosystems, can occur through loosening game and fishery laws, greater education about these species, along with the creation of a commercial market for the meat.
Unfortunately, legislation moves at a snail's pace, so it may be some time before these changes occur -- which is why it's my hope (and Landers' too) that a copy of this book lands in the hands of local and national politicians across the country, encouraging an investigation and plan of action similar to those Carson's Silent Spring launched.
But until that occurs, it's up to the folks lucky enough to read Landers' book to make that happen. He hands you an assortment of adventures to choose from, advice for how to cheaply get started (making it very clear that successful hunters and fishers don't need thousands of dollars worth of equipment -- taking away the possible element of intimidation if you've never been out in the woods or on the water), and a mouth that'll be watering at the end.
So do yourself a favor; buy this book and then head outdoors, tracking down invasive species in your area -- and then enjoy the edible fruits of your labor.