Not Martha

what I’ve been reading: The Butcher and the Vegetarian

cover of The Butcher and the Vegetarian

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.

for the sake of full disclosure: I consider Tara a friend, which is awesome because she holds gatherings like this one. Her personal site is Tea & Cookies.

· comments [9] · 04-26-2010 · categories:books · food ·

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 punkrawkknitter // Apr 26, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Weird, I just finished reading this book last night. I really liked it too, I was a bit confused about the paragraph about Dan the downstairs cowbow and then no mention of him again. I’m going to have to look up a recipe for green juice, my interest has been piqued!

  • 2 Jessi B. // Apr 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Ha! That would probably be a good read for me, I decided to be vegetarian from ages 12 to 19, and had to start eating meat when I became “malnourished” after having mono. It was, indeed, a very interesting journey, and I am glad that I stayed on the meat (hormone free, ethically raised that it) eating side of the spectrum. Also, her party sounds absolutely delightful!

  • 3 Jessi B. // Apr 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    opps…I meant “that IS” :)

  • 4 Elle Sees // Apr 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I cannot be a vegetarian. I tried, honestly! I rarely eat red meat though, unless I know exactly where it comes from. It sounds like an interesting book though.

  • 5 Sarah // Apr 27, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Reading it now, great book!

    (love your site)

  • 6 Rituparna // Apr 27, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Tara or as I first came to know her Tea has been my inspiration. Her food blog was the first one that caught my attention almost 3 years back and ever since then I have not looked back. Her recipes are amazing and simple but even better is what she writes with them. Her insight into all things is enlightening. She is my favorite in the whole wide world and I do have a really special spot for her blog in my heart. I have been meaning to read this book myself. What you write now compells me even more.

  • 7 Megan (Best of Fates) // Apr 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    That book sounds so interesting – I’ll definitely check out her site!

  • 8 heyjenrenee // Apr 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve been soooo meaning to read this! (Me being the butcher and my husband being the vegetarian.) I’ll definitely go check it out now.

  • 9 Nancy // May 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I just picked this up on Saturday, and I’m already half way through it. Thanks for the recommendation!

    I like how she acknowledges past books we’ve probably all read about organic & local foods, and takes it further with her personal story.

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