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The Shameless Carnivore: A Manifesto for Meat Lovers Hardcover – March 18, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his first book, former literary agent Gold sets out to probe the joys and mysteries of meat eating. According to his research, the ability to track and hunt for meat, whether hooved, clawed or winged, aided in the development of human intelligence, so we are destined to eat it. But as a carnivore with few qualms about meats, Gold is better equipped than most for this celebration of the meat-eating life. The bulk of the book chronicles his self-described month of meat, in which the author ate 31 kinds of meat in as many days. Alternating between the mundane (chicken) and the exotic (llama), he takes his culinary pilgrimage as seriously as a journey through a country or subculture, something many food writers are doing these days. The result is a hipsterish, lad-lit quasi-travelogue à la Julia and Julia. He takes on filet of ostrich and bull pizzle, vegetarianism and veganism, and argues that the indirect effects of such ethical and dietary lifestyle choices sometimes do more harm than the decision to butcher a single animal. The last and best part of his book is the Tour de Boeuf, which takes Gold through the butchering of a live bovine to the eating of various innards and offal. Fun, though somewhat frivolous, with recipes and sidebars. (Mar)
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"[Gold's] often amusing first-person account of acquiring, cooking, serving and eating his prey is interspersed with occasional recitations of fun factorids. As a writer, Gold is entertaining, with a punchy, extemporaneous tone that sounds like as if he were doing stand-up. He goes for the laughs and often gets them." -- Holly Brubach, The New York Times Style Magazine

"[Gold's] book is laugh-out-loud funny. But it is also quite thoughtful." --Judy Walker, The Times-Picayune

"[Gold] has devoted a good portion of the book to the ethics of eating animals, the comparative merits (taste, health and conscience) of organic and free-range meats and the (rightly) exalted status of the responsible hunter. Gold has the utmost respect for "the integrity of meat" and demonstrates it brilliantly throughout his book." --Christine Sismondo, The Toronto Star

"The Shameless Carnivore
is an unapologetically funny, provacative yet meticulously researched examination of the author's red-blooded appetite. The book also maps out the culture wars involving omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, PETA and animal slaughter." --Alexandyr Kent, The Shreveport Times

"Rare in the growing tide of books on vegetarian cooking, Gold's memoir of meat is well done. And while he offers bites of history and health in his "Manifesto for Meat Lovers," the meat of his tale is his mission to eat 31 different meats - from alligator to yak - in 31 days. Our advice to anyone who would try to mimic the good-humored author: Don't fill up on bread!" --Bill Heller, The New York Post

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (March 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076792651X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767926515
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,096,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I learned more about cuts of beef than I ever thought I cared to, and I'm glad I did.
C. Onorati
Being a chef myself I'm relieved to see that the fine art of cooking and eating well finds a new ally in Gold's book and blog.
Ivan Beacco
Simply read the other two 2-star ratings and you get an exact indication of what is wrong with this book.
Master Hahn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being from New Orleans also, I derived a certain amount of satisfaction from the Scott's accurate depictions of some of my favorite haunts. Although Port of Call did not make the final publication, there's certainly an honorable mention in the blog. And he was right on the money with Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (it's true that all a good-quality steak really needs is salt, pepper and butter) and Brightsen's.

If I were to mix media and compare Scott to other food writers/personalities, I'd say that he's the unholy love-child of Alton Brown and Anthony Bourdain. His gastronomic adventures are fast approaching Anthony's without the benefit of having traveled to Cambodia and Sub-saharan Africa, and his educational lessons are peppered with funny anecdotes that keep the reader's interest. What keeps Scott's stories fresh and vibrant is his lack of professional experience in the kitchen. Setting out to cook something you've prepared a hundred times in the past isn't nearly as interesting as experimenting and living with the results -- excellent, or merely mediocre.

Of notable worth is the tale of the guinea pig dinner and the open letter to PETA. When Scott calls them out for the hypocrites they are, it makes you realize that the time of the carnivores is at hand. Meat is NOT murder, and it sure is tasty!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan A. Reitzes on April 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At the outset, I had mixed emotions about meat eating. Not only have I questioned the merits of meat-eating, but also the agro-industrial complex that produces our USDA Prime. I was happy to see that Gold has the same questions as I do and addresses them in this book. A crucial and highly pivotal moment of the book occurs when Gold shares a story about his brother, a devout Buddhist, living on a monastery. Gold goes to the root of ancient wisdom and give the reader a lot to chew on. Mr. Gold is a funny writer, but the book goes beyond hoopla to critically examine what has happened to our meat supply as a result our of uncontrollable carnivorism and most importantly, how a reverence for life and the animals we eat will result in better lives for all involved.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Timms on April 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As an avid chili fan, I need meat, and I love food writing- anything from the perfect prose of A.J. Liebling to Michael Pollan's (often unrealistic) findings, to Barry Glassner's sensible advice. This addition to the food-lit canon is funny, informative, and adventurous. Such a fun time reading this, and I think we need a book that celebrates the guilt-free glutton. There's way too many brilliant meat dishes out there. Americans over-intellectualize their food, when they should be out enjoying the possibilities!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel H. Hewins on April 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Gold written a thoroughly entertaining, informative, interesting, and fun book. Quite zealous about meat in general and most food from meat in particular, Scott takes us through a journey of the strange and wonderful meats he east, both delicious (most) and disgusting (few). His accounts of 31 animals in 31 days, the Testicle Festival in Montana, slaughtering a cow and eating each edible part of the cow are all fun to read and informative. He walks the line between being fun and humorous and investigating the philosophical and scientific issues surrounding carnivorism. I recommend this book for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike as all can learn a thing or two about the cuts of beef, the Tibetan take on eating meat, and the heath issues of eating meat. It made me hungry and want to try some more non-traditional foods!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yvo S. on April 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was very informative while not taking itself too seriously. A lot of "food for thought" in its points about not succumbing to gluttony nor to extremist tactics such as giving up all meat in efforts to remain healthy (extremist tactics rarely work for anything!). Even while explaining why we should know where our meat comes from, and being basically a love letter to meat of all kinds (except bull penis; apparently that is just too tough to swallow, no pun intended), it remains a fun and light hearted read. Honestly, I actually decided to cut way back on my (what I thought was fairly normal!) meat consumption; Mr. Gold points out all too reasonably that eating fantastic meat less often is better than eating mediocre meat daily. I concur.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. Wefald on March 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I knew (and half hoped) that there would be some kind of backlash against Scott's book when it finally came out, and yet I am disappointed that one such person would take it upon themselves to write a fallacious and misrepresentative review simply because no one really had yet and there was the chance to hurt his customer rating. In the interest of full disclosure, I will start with this: I am friends with the author and participated in many of the gastronomic events described in the book, and am even quoted in a few passages. I was vegetarian for six years and met Scott while he was in the midst of his intensive research. Of course, we butted heads a few times over what became the chapter "Are vegetarians the enemy?"

My first reaction was impassioned. Indeed, what is more enemizing than others who would hassle me about my deep abiding love of tofu (which continues to this day even though I am no longer vegetarian), or the passive-aggressive volunteering of apology at barbecues for chowing down on burgers as I turn over my portobello mushroom cap on the grill. I was annoyed that the shrill, one-note braying of organizations like PETA would be lumped in somehow with my decision not to eat meat, when in fact PETA and ethics had nothing to do with it.

But you know what? What interested Scott about these sometimes heated debates was not forcing his carnivorous beliefs upon me (that would be anathema to the Shameless Carnivore manifesto, after all), but rather getting an accurate picture of how the other half lives. I thought he was being an obnoxious older brother-type at the time, but now that I've read how he handled it in the greater scheme of things, I'm really quite proud of him.
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