I recently got done reading The Butcher and the Vegetarian by Tara Austen Weaver and I really, really enjoyed it. It was one of those books I stayed up late into the night reading, and couldn’t wait to pick it up again the next day.
Tara takes us through the time in her life when she, raised a vegetarian, is advised to take up eating meat to help solve some chronic health troubles. The stories of her trying to figure out how to buy and cook meat are both hilarious and filled with a thoughtful exploration of how to balance the personal and environmental ethics of eating meat. She gets very close to the subject, visiting ranches and farms that are gentle to both the land and the animals, going through some of Michael Pollen’s arguments and spending a day at Meathenge. She finds some very good food and people. Tara doesn’t take any more virtuous than thou stances, and approaches each question looking fairly at all sides. That makes it sound boring, I admit, but I assure you it’s not, the book takes a journey that moves along briskly. I love it when I find an author whose words ring very clear in my head, and Tara is one of those.