A Mindful Carnivore

Tovar Cerulli is what he calls a “mindful carnivore” – a vegan-turned-hunter who writes about his adventures with and thoughts on hunting and animals at his blog: http://www.tovarcerulli.com/blog/, and in his new book “The Mindful Carnivore, A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance“.

I met Tovar through email a while back; he contacted me regarding a blog post I had written in response to his article about white-tailed deer and hunting in Mass Wildlife’s magazine. His article discussed the over-abundance of white-tailed deer here in Massachusetts, and I wrote a response agreeing that hunting was a good method of population control, but that he didn’t talk about the lack of large predators in MA as one reason (though not the only) for their high population numbers.  And the idea that although controversial, large predator re-introduction ought to be part of a conversation around white-tailed deer population control. It’s worth noting that ideas regarding wolf re-introduction are shifting as we learn more about eastern wolves and their history here in the northeast, but a discussion of their role is still important.

Anyhow, after a ridiculously lengthy delay I emailed Tovar to thank him for his thoughtful reply to my article, and took some time to visit his blog and read his writing – much to my delight. Tovar is an insightful and engaging author and I thoroughly enjoyed the many essays of his that I read on hunting at his blog. I strongly urge you to visit and read some of what he’s written, and to get a copy of his book when it comes out (not sure how I’m going to manage that since I’ve joined the Compact – it might have to wait until next year). Everyone could benefit from listening to his views on food, hunting and animals, whether you agree with him or not. As a society we ought to be thinking and talking about where our food comes from and why – Tovar goes a long way towards getting us started.

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9 Responses to “A Mindful Carnivore”
  1. We have a huge deer/car problem during the rut here and I know that they send the police out to hunt the deer until somebody’s window gets shot out. But people freak when you talk of larger animals. A poor black bear was wondering through on the way up north and the SWAT team was called out to blow it away. There was a public back lash so that they let the next one go through on its own…I admire wolves and I had never thought of there being no natural predators for the deer…Michelle

    • That’s funny – and so typical (the whole ‘window getting shot out’ thing). It’s a tough line to walk, living with large carnivores – whether it’s bears, canines or felines. Education is critical to help the general public understand that we can live with them safely, as long as people are willing to do the work in keeping their homes and yards as predator-proof as possible. And predator population (from state or local agencies) control is a necessary part of that. I have hope that we’ll get there some day… If it can happen out west we can definitely do it here in the east!

      • I tried very hard to get on our local town’s conservation committee but the chairman wanted Ph.D’s only and I am a lowly special education teacher (retired). I had ideas for education with materials and they wouldn’t listen..so I am trying it on a smaller scale here in my neighborhood…so far very mixed results.

        • Ph.D’s? Seriously? That’s ridiculous. I know plenty of excellent outdoorsmen/women, naturalists and conservationists that don’t even have a Bachelor’s in the natural sciences. How incredibly limiting and narrow-minded. I’m glad to hear you’re going ahead with your programs anyway. Have you tried contacting a local non-profit – Audubon or watershed agency to see if they have any interest? As someone who’s worked for non-profits for years, I know most of the folks who work for them always value new ideas and program materials.

          • Michelle says:

            It’s funny that you would mention that as I was thinking about it. The problem is that I have MS and mu ability to do things on a certain day is not predictable. Some days I just have to do the couch and others I am pretty mobile. I don’t want to make a commitment that I can’t make.

            My friend and naturalist mentor passed away this summer and she was such an inspiration and source of knowledge that I want to do something in her memory too. She was a long time naturalist and rehabber with a love of bats. I try to use my blog to ease people’s fear of certain wildlife as in if I can do it, they can do it. But I have to say with her help, I have enriched my life which can be limiting 100%. There is nothing that I can’t enjoy with my birding microphones in the windows. I just have such a thirst and interest in everything in my yard, pond and woods. It is such a joy for me…

          • I have a very good friend who was diagnosed with MS just over a year ago, so I’ve become familiar with the disease, and completely understand your concerns. Your blog is a terrific way to share your and your friend’s knowledge – that’s a big reason why I have mine. I know my audiences are limited when I do programs, but I have the potential to reach many more people online (presuming they find their way to me, that is!). Keep doing what you’re doing – nature feeds the soul in a way nothing else can. And I honestly believe that translates to the body in some subtle ways that we might not always be aware of.

  2. Michelle says:

    Oh my goodness..I just went to your private blog and my late rehabber friend was a pagan…oh my gosh…

    • How wonderful to hear of another naturalist-pagan. 🙂 I love making those connections, although I’m sorry for your loss. It’s great to see that you’re keeping her name and memory alive through your own nature teachings and observations.


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