Mindful Carnivore Book Reading
I went to a book reading/discussion this past weekend with Tovar Cerulli, author of the Mindful Carnivore. I wrote a post about Tovar and his blog and book The Mindful Carnivore (which was still yet to be released at the time) a while back, as I had discovered that his essays on food and hunting were incredibly pertinent and thought-provoking. The – now released – book covers Tovar’s journey from becoming a vegetarian and then vegan to eventually becoming a hunter.
Tovar is currently traveling the northeast in promotion of his book’s release, and I saw him on a stop up in New Hampshire. One of the things that made his reading enjoyably different from others I’ve attended was the informality with which he conducted it. We arranged ourselves into a circle (instead of the usual audience/presenter style seating) and Tovar began by talking about how and why his book came about, and some of the themes it contained, and gave a reading from an early chapter. He then opened things up to general discussion by the group and we all started talking about a wide range of issues, from growing your own food, to thoughts and attitudes about hunting, to the myriad reasons people choose to become vegetarians or vegans.
My lasting take-away from this valuable conversation and book reading, was how incredibly complex the food industry is in our country – regardless of whether you buy local or just from your local grocery – and how challenging it is to make healthy and ethical choices about the food we eat. Even for those who subsistence hunt. Tovar related a turning point in his vegetarianism lifestyle when he learned about how many deer die for local land to be cleared and maintained for food production. Despite the fact that he was eating no meat – or dairy – and buying his food locally, animals were still being killed to produce what he was eating.
I can’t wait to finish this book – I’m not nearly as far along as I had hoped to be by now, but I’m getting there. Tovar’s writing style is very readable and familiar, like he’s sitting next to you, just sharing his story. I’ll give The Mindful Carnivore a full review after I’ve finished it, but for now all I can say is go and get a copy for yourself. It is so important that we all have these conversations – if only within our families – about what we eat and why.