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The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 15, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
"As a long-time vegetarian . . . I was more than a little wary. . . Fortunately, this book retires exhausted tropes and instead presents a truly original and touching account of connecting with nature.”
Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City
"Both a personal tale of how one man comes to terms with the meat on his plate and a historical look at humanity’s connection to animals, The Mindful Carnivore delivers new insight in the too often simplistic vegetarian-versus-carnivore argument."
"A gripping look at some of the central questions, both practical and philosophical, of human existence."
“One of the most unusual and intriguing books I’ve ever read. . . . Thought-provoking, educational, subtle, and agenda-free.”
New Mexico Wildlife
"This groundbreaking book has enormous potential to create a dialogue with differing groups."
"A touching and thought-provoking exploration of not only what we eat but how we eat it."
Hank Shaw, author of Hunt, Gather, Cook
"Cerulli offers penetrating insights into not only where our food comes from, but what our daily dietary choices say about who we are as human beings."
Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Righteous Porkchop
"Elegantly written, thoughtful, intensely personal yet universal, Tovar Cerulli’s The Mindful Carnivore is destined to become a classic."
Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn and Raising Steaks
"Bull’s-eye! Cerulli cuts through forests of argument with a thoughtful and thrilling narrative. We experience his growing awareness of what it means to be fully involved in the web of nature. With him we can wonder at its complex mystery and share in ‘mindful eating’ as a sacred act."
Jan E. Dizard, author of Mortal Stakes and Going Wild
"A remarkably candid, nuanced, and engaging meditation on what it means to be human. The Mindful Carnivore is a bracing read."
More About the Author
He lives in Vermont with his wife Catherine, their Labrador retriever, and an eclectic mix of cookbooks.
Top Customer Reviews
I found the book clear, insightful, and very beautifully written. The point about the complexity of the web of interdependence is well-illustrated and reenforced throughout but not heavy-handed. There's a lot of interesting information on the history of hunting and wildlife management, as well as the wide spectrum of philosophical stances and approaches found among hunters. There's definitely an element of suspense as well, whether you happen to be rooting for man or deer.
For the record, I have known the author for many years. I am not a hunter. I have been a vegetarian, and am a vegetarian sympathizer.
"This is how I see it," is basically what he says. It's never, "this is how YOU should see it."
He just presents the opportunity, and the reader can hardly help but take it.
It's not a completely comfortable book, especially for the long-time hunter. Tovar tips some sacred cows in his quest to find answers, and he asks some pretty tough questions. For example, he challenges the often contorted logic that hunters need good PR, so we should be ethical and safe. Shouldn't we be ethical and safe anyway? Good PR will logically follow.
In his very thoughtful approach to the decision to kill a deer, and in the efforts that culminate in his first success, Tovar sheds a little light on the thought process that many of us long-time hunters have come to take for granted. To me, at least, it was an opportunity to look back at my own choices and decisions and take stock of where my personal ethics come into play. I think there's a lot of value in a book that makes you stop to think without telling you what you should be thinking. And this is what makes The Mindful Carnivore a great book.
As Cerulli tells a deeply personal story of his own journey from vegan to hunter, he connects his experiences to larger themes having to do with meat, meaning, and the karmic costs of every food on his table--including the brown rice, tofu, and organic vegetables. As you'll immediately guess from the book's title and cover, Cerulli is now something of a venison evangelist. But he wasn't always. After reflecting on the compassionate words of Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, he became a vegetarian at age 20. Soon, after learning more about the modern egg and dairy industries, he went completely vegan. Eventually, however, he began to have second thoughts.
"I realized," he writes in his bio for a recent panel discussion, "that all food has its costs. From habitat destruction to combines that inadvertently mince rabbits to the shooting of deer in farm fields, crop production is far from harmless. Even in our own organic garden, my wife and I were battling ravenous insects and fence-defying woodchucks. I began to see that the question wasn't what we ate but how that food came to our plates. A few years later, my wife--who was studying holistic health and nutrition--suggested that we shift our diet, and my health improved when we started eating dairy and eggs.Read more ›
In fact, as a male non-hunter, I bought five books on the "why" of hunting all at once, and read the two written by women, "Call of the Mild" and "Girl Hunter," first. Then I read "The Mindful Carnivore." I figured these two female authors and a male former vegan would provide a really unique, thoughtful perspective on the subject--and they did. At least Cerulli and Lily Raff McCaulou did--not so much Georgia Pellegrini. Her book was more about getting driven around on a golf cart or ATV by the billionaire owners of huge privately owned nature preserves, shooting animals that were RAISED in-house to be hunted, and then getting drunk on expensive scotch and eating gourmet food afterward (seriously?!?........stay away from "Girl Hunter" by the way).
"The Mindful Carnivore" was certainly worth reading and I'm glad I did. Knowing basically nothing about hunting, I learned quite a bit. It was just a bit too sensitive for me. At times a little out there.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mr. Cerulli’s thoughtful approach to hunting makes this a rare read in the hunting genre. A must read for mindful hunters.Published 6 days ago by Tristan Lefler
It reads a little slow, but it show how we are all connected to nature. I like to know how, where, and it what conditions my food is raised. Read morePublished 1 month ago by tyland
Well researched, well thought out, and very well written. This book pushed me over that threshold from consideration to action in taking responsibility for my own sustenance. Read morePublished 2 months ago by NewEnglander
As a hunter for many years, this book was very interesting and enlightening.
I read it after reading Aldo Leopold's Land County Almanac, which is a great book as well. Read more
Tovar Cerulli is a deep and diverse man - and he has tackled a highly volatile subject in his outstanding book THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE. Read morePublished 12 months ago by GEORGE H BRISTOL
To the author: thank you for sharing your experience. I hope that plenty of people read this book and take the mindful part to heart. This book was very enjoyable.Published 14 months ago by jane harlow
(Full review here: [...]) I recommend this book to anyone who has considered giving up meat, or who is considering returning to eating it. Read morePublished 21 months ago by JS
I think that everyone should read this book. As a female hunter is Alaska, I have had many of the same struggles: I have no tradition to give thanks, and I lament the loss of life... Read morePublished on January 13, 2014 by Courtney in Alaska