counter create hit The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis

Availability: Ready to download

Growing up in a family that kept jars of bean sprouts on its windowsill before such things were desirable or hip, Tara Austen Weaver never thought she'd stray from vegetarianism. But as an adult, she found herself in poor health, and, having tried cures of every kind, a doctor finally ordered her to eat meat. Warily, she ventured into the butcher shop, and as the man be Growing up in a family that kept jars of bean sprouts on its windowsill before such things were desirable or hip, Tara Austen Weaver never thought she'd stray from vegetarianism. But as an adult, she found herself in poor health, and, having tried cures of every kind, a doctor finally ordered her to eat meat. Warily, she ventured into the butcher shop, and as the man behind the counter wrapped up her first-ever chicken, she found herself charmed. Eventually, he dared her to cook her way through his meat counter. As Tara navigates through this new world—grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed beef; finding chickens that are truly free-range— she's tempted to give up and go back to eating tempeh. The more she learns about meat and how it's produced, and the effects eating it has on the human body and the planet, the less she feels she knows. She embarks upon a sometimes hilarious, sometimes frightening whirlwind tour that takes her from slaughterhouse to chef's table, from urban farm to the hearthside of cow wranglers. Along the way, she meets an unforgettable cast of characters who all seem to take a vested interest in whether she opts for turnips or T-bones. The Butcher and the Vegetarian is the rollicking and relevant story of one woman's quest to reconcile a nontraditional upbringing with carnal desires.


Compare

Growing up in a family that kept jars of bean sprouts on its windowsill before such things were desirable or hip, Tara Austen Weaver never thought she'd stray from vegetarianism. But as an adult, she found herself in poor health, and, having tried cures of every kind, a doctor finally ordered her to eat meat. Warily, she ventured into the butcher shop, and as the man be Growing up in a family that kept jars of bean sprouts on its windowsill before such things were desirable or hip, Tara Austen Weaver never thought she'd stray from vegetarianism. But as an adult, she found herself in poor health, and, having tried cures of every kind, a doctor finally ordered her to eat meat. Warily, she ventured into the butcher shop, and as the man behind the counter wrapped up her first-ever chicken, she found herself charmed. Eventually, he dared her to cook her way through his meat counter. As Tara navigates through this new world—grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed beef; finding chickens that are truly free-range— she's tempted to give up and go back to eating tempeh. The more she learns about meat and how it's produced, and the effects eating it has on the human body and the planet, the less she feels she knows. She embarks upon a sometimes hilarious, sometimes frightening whirlwind tour that takes her from slaughterhouse to chef's table, from urban farm to the hearthside of cow wranglers. Along the way, she meets an unforgettable cast of characters who all seem to take a vested interest in whether she opts for turnips or T-bones. The Butcher and the Vegetarian is the rollicking and relevant story of one woman's quest to reconcile a nontraditional upbringing with carnal desires.

30 review for The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    As a vegan, I was hoping to see more emphasis on the "moral crisis" part of the title, but a large portion of the book is spent romanticizing all things meat as she ventures into the world of flesh-eating that was a taboo part of her childhood. The vegan part of me was disappointed in the frequent condoning of "humanely raised" and "humanely slaughtered" meat. Personally, I don't think there's a way to humanely slaughter another living creature, nor do I believe meat-eating is necessary for the As a vegan, I was hoping to see more emphasis on the "moral crisis" part of the title, but a large portion of the book is spent romanticizing all things meat as she ventures into the world of flesh-eating that was a taboo part of her childhood. The vegan part of me was disappointed in the frequent condoning of "humanely raised" and "humanely slaughtered" meat. Personally, I don't think there's a way to humanely slaughter another living creature, nor do I believe meat-eating is necessary for the continuation of human existence. Though she acknowledged many times the cruelty and gruesomeness that is the reality of eating meat (especially the factory farmed variety) she was always able to push those thoughts to the far corners or her mind and sacrifice the animal's well-being for a few moments of taste bud satisfaction. That being said, however, there is some good humor weaved in throughout, and I was fairly happy with the ending, though I can't identity with her particular belief system. If my friends ever had a problem with me refusing some fancy lamb dish, I'd quickly find new friends. I hope if anything, this book will plant some seeds (pun intended) in the minds of omnivores and encourage them to look more closely at the foods they eat and how it arrives at their table. Whether it's local, organic, or factory farmed-- the effects of our dietary choices are very far-reaching, for the earth, for the animals, and for our own health.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed a lot of this book, but overall, the tone annoyed me. The author alternates between being too melodramatic and too glib. Ugh, ugh, ugh. For example, when she decides to take the next step up the meat ladder and try cooking a steak, her reactions include "Good Lord, not a steak," and "Could I make a steak for myself, in my own home? The thought is terrifying, and yet there is an undeniable allure to it as well." Oh, cook it or don't, but get over it already. But then on the other hand, I enjoyed a lot of this book, but overall, the tone annoyed me. The author alternates between being too melodramatic and too glib. Ugh, ugh, ugh. For example, when she decides to take the next step up the meat ladder and try cooking a steak, her reactions include "Good Lord, not a steak," and "Could I make a steak for myself, in my own home? The thought is terrifying, and yet there is an undeniable allure to it as well." Oh, cook it or don't, but get over it already. But then on the other hand, she reads The Omnivore's Dilemma and spends a few pages on the horrors of factory farming, then goes and visits a small farm where the animals are treated well and raised sustainably, and concludes with "I think even Michael Pollan might approve." Well, did you read the third section of The Omnivore's Dilemma about the sustainable "beyond organic" farm and his arguments that it's the way to go if you can't hunt/grow/forage your own food? Uh, yeah he'd approve. At least in the kids' edition, he was bragging about the vegetarians he'd converted back to eating meat when they saw that this type of farm works well for the animals, the farmers, and the planet. She also approaches everything from the guilt/sin/shame/fear perspective, which is really one of my huge pet peeves about food and this society. Steaks represent lust because they're both carnal or something, blah blah blah. She stops short of calling desserts "sinful" but I get the feeling that's only because dessert doesn't come up much in this book. It's food, people. If you think it's wrong to eat animals, don't eat them. Otherwise, shut up and enjoy them. Do not sanctimoniously go on and on about how bad you must be because now you eat meat, oh waily waily wringing of hands boo hoo. It doesn't make you any more virtuous than if you just ate and enjoyed; in fact, it makes you an annoying hypocrite. Also, despite being totally intimidated by absolutely everything, the author goes out of her way to do everything in the most complicated way possible. She can't just make chicken stock out of chicken parts because some cookbook tells her it's better to make it out of a whole chicken with the breast cut off. When the butcher won't do it, she does it herself. Everything has to be the fanciest, most complicated, most elaborate way possible. I understand that she has no background in meat and so has no way of judging whether a step is excessive or necessary, but at a certain point, I would expect common sense to kick in. Think about this: you're not even making soup, you're making stock! Should it take many hours of your life and tens of dollars of meat to make something whose most common use is to make rice taste yummier? Hint: no. Anyway, after all this, she discovers that meat doesn't cure her chronic fatigue any more than being a vegetarian did. She experiments around and finally discovers that eating only raw food does, so she decides to go with that. I'm happy for her. Each one of us should eat what works for us. But she still has to get in a chapter of politics between finding the raw foods effective and concluding it's the diet for her. These people say this and those people say that, and everybody thinks they're better than everybody else, and can't we all just get along? Although I agree, it's still annoying. Also, I'm kind of annoyed that the answer is raw food. It seems almost like the rest of the book is a trick. After all this over-the-top glorying in bacon and steak and the title of the book including the butcher and all, she ends up eating leaves and twigs? It just seems like it should be called something else then. Tofu vs. Steak: Grudge Match or What the hell should I eat? or Eating everything, then quitting or Steak, Guilt, and Sprouts or something. As is, it's a bit misleading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Tara is a vegetarian who is prescribed meat by her doctor. The Butcher and the Vegetarian is the story of her venture into the world of carnivores. She does not go easily - whining and moaning the whole way. Is it ethical? Is it humane? Environmentally friendly? Even as she is fighting against eating meat she is loving bacon, flank steak with chimichurri and Syrian meatballs. I did not love how she and the people in her social circle felt the need to label themselves vegetarian, carnivore, flexi Tara is a vegetarian who is prescribed meat by her doctor. The Butcher and the Vegetarian is the story of her venture into the world of carnivores. She does not go easily - whining and moaning the whole way. Is it ethical? Is it humane? Environmentally friendly? Even as she is fighting against eating meat she is loving bacon, flank steak with chimichurri and Syrian meatballs. I did not love how she and the people in her social circle felt the need to label themselves vegetarian, carnivore, flexitarian, vegan, bacontarian... Just eat what you want to and do not explain or apologize. August 2013

  4. 4 out of 5

    AJ

    Cliches are bad, but cliches about veg*ns are about the worst. I've heard them all. You would think, from the reactions omnivores have to veg*ns, that not eating animals is one of the most absurd, strange things that humans have thought up. Veg*ns don't get enough protein, we must be sick, we sneak bacon when nobody is looking, etc. I guess what I find most annoying about this book is that I really don't know what to make of it. The author weaves many cliches about veg*ns into this narrative, eve Cliches are bad, but cliches about veg*ns are about the worst. I've heard them all. You would think, from the reactions omnivores have to veg*ns, that not eating animals is one of the most absurd, strange things that humans have thought up. Veg*ns don't get enough protein, we must be sick, we sneak bacon when nobody is looking, etc. I guess what I find most annoying about this book is that I really don't know what to make of it. The author weaves many cliches about veg*ns into this narrative, even though she was born and raised a vegetarian and ultimately embraces a (predominantly) animal free diet. The biggest theme is that veg*ns are somehow ascetics, unwilling to enjoy food or life at the expensive of animal rights, health or the environment. It really makes me wonder if Weaver just needed some new recipes, or better veg*n friends who know how to cook. Most grating were the statements about how eating meat is macho, manly, and how Weaver hoped to join the boy's club of steakhouses and bar-be-cues. I know it's tempting for women to emulate men, after all we're told from a young age that men are better than we are, but I think it's absurd to perpetuate the notion of gendered food. Masculinity is what you make it to be, and I know plenty of men who refrain from eating flesh, and plenty of women who eat a steak without batting an eyelash. Maybe, as Weaver mentioned, it's a west coast thing for women to feel they need to order the salad. It's certainly nothing I ever felt when I ate meat, nor something I've ever noticed being a problem for my female friends who continue to eat meat. Ultimately, the author explores eating meat because of health issues, which is something that I completely understand. The author explores many avenues of "ethical" meat production, which I think is great for people who can afford it, but not something that will ever be sustainable on a large scale. Weaver continues to call herself a vegetarian throughout the first half of the book, something that any real vegetarian will likely bristle at. It certainly bothered me. By the end of the book she tries the "opposite" of a meat-based diet, going completely raw for a week. She finds that this increases her energy and makes her feel better, which I'm sure veg*ns reading this book will be pleased to hear (I certainly was!). Even at the very end, Weaver mentions that "meat eaters want to savor the world," which strikes this vegan as a strange sentiment. I'm no ascetic, and as somebody who was born and raised on a flesh diet, I would rather eat a vine ripened tomato than any cured or cooked pig, any day. My dietary options enhance my life, and it's savoriness, and do absolutely nothing to diminish it. I find pleasure in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and even sweets. I wonder if Weaver actually thinks that this meat-eater-as-hedonist and vegan-as-ascetic dichotomy is true, it's just unfortunate that she perpetuates the ideas in her book for others to absorb as fact.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Fun, quick book. I almost wish I had waited to read this until I was on vacation. The cover and title are misleading (must every book written by a woman need to look/sound like a romance novel?) but I knew what to actually expect so I wasn't surprised by the content. I was surprised that she went from never cooking meat to her first (or at least it seemed like the first, chronology was not the book's strong point) forays into cooking meat all involving tricky/very meaty dishes like crown roasts Fun, quick book. I almost wish I had waited to read this until I was on vacation. The cover and title are misleading (must every book written by a woman need to look/sound like a romance novel?) but I knew what to actually expect so I wasn't surprised by the content. I was surprised that she went from never cooking meat to her first (or at least it seemed like the first, chronology was not the book's strong point) forays into cooking meat all involving tricky/very meaty dishes like crown roasts and steaks with marrow smeared on. Anyway, not a perfect book, it was a bit scattered and slightly name-droppy and she occasionally would mention something odd or upsetting about her past and then not really follow up on it. But, it was entertaining and a pleasant way to spend an hour or so. I do feel like her publishers did her a disservice with the title and cover. There is no real romantic relationship content or even a particular butcher. The "men" referenced are all meat eaters or in the meat industry. Which I was fine with but I think someone who just picks it up off the shelf based on the cover might be disappointed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Schmacko

    Wow…you’d assume that if you had Anne Lamott write a comment on your book jacket, you also might have an editor. Tara Austen Weaver has a cute idea – and she has a cute voice – but this book is marred by narrative aimlessness, writing errors, and word misuses. A strict vegetarian raised Weaver, so Weaver has little or no insight into the world of meat. As an adult, she’s told to start eating meat to combat weight gain and fatigue. Sure, she had some misgivings, but she wanted to feel better. Her Wow…you’d assume that if you had Anne Lamott write a comment on your book jacket, you also might have an editor. Tara Austen Weaver has a cute idea – and she has a cute voice – but this book is marred by narrative aimlessness, writing errors, and word misuses. A strict vegetarian raised Weaver, so Weaver has little or no insight into the world of meat. As an adult, she’s told to start eating meat to combat weight gain and fatigue. Sure, she had some misgivings, but she wanted to feel better. Her health woes could be considered a drive for the book, if she didn’t amiably wander around, looking at things that fascinate her in the most random ways possible. Because she doesn't focus, the book quickly loses tension and immediacy, feeling indeterminable. Weaver seems distracted by humpy butchers and genial health purveyors; she only talks about their healthfulness in a nonscientific, purely incidental way. Facts are introduced at odd moments. Finally, Weaver’s “findings” are not all that inspiring or insightful, because she spends so much time on everything but her own solution – she covers it in about 6 measly, incomplete pages. She accidentally stumbled on her own healthy living answer, and she even admits it’s a pretty impractical answer, and it probably won’t even work for everyone. What is worse is her writing. She puts modifiers as far away from their subjects as possible. Example: “I was 2 when my father left, a small thing with white-blonde hair and blue eyes I hadn’t yet grown into.” I swear that for a moment – until I got to the end of the sentence - I thought the dad was a small thing with white-blonde hair. Later, she talks about a burden; she calls it a “yolk” instead of a “yoke,” and she’s not making an egg joke. She misuses “fair” for “fare.” Errors like this frustrate me. Where was her editor?

  7. 4 out of 5

    J

    Loved the first half of the book. The author shares some really personal stuff and walks the reader through the journey from vegetarianism to eating meat (for health reasons). She has a fun voice. Very interesting. The second half of the book was a bummer for me. It felt like a sneaky diatribe about the virtues of vegetarianism and "socially conscious" food sourcing - something I would never purposely read. The author is stuck in deep liberal thought and assumes that it is evil to eat (ie "murde Loved the first half of the book. The author shares some really personal stuff and walks the reader through the journey from vegetarianism to eating meat (for health reasons). She has a fun voice. Very interesting. The second half of the book was a bummer for me. It felt like a sneaky diatribe about the virtues of vegetarianism and "socially conscious" food sourcing - something I would never purposely read. The author is stuck in deep liberal thought and assumes that it is evil to eat (ie "murder") meat; though she grudgingly admits that it might be a necessary evil. She is constantly holding up vegans & crazy liberals as paragons of virtue who are "selfless". Ughh. Animals aren't people. Killing animals isn't murder. Come back down to earth people. She complains about the constraints of being so "socially conscious" but doesn't step out of that mentality. She also doesn't act on it, as she continues to pursue eating meat. Really? Food is morally neutral and I think this woman's "moral crisis" is ridiculous. But, have the courage of your convictions, lady. If you really think something is evil, you shouldn't participate in it. Not a bit. So many vegetarians described in the book believed deeply that meat is evil, but then "set their morals aside" to accommodate social dictates or the desires of others. I don't get it. Either believe something or don't. And act on it. You aren't better than others because you are "socially conscious" and aware of issues, if that knowledge doesn't effect your actions. You are worse! Being aware of an issue means you are now accountable for it. The growing disconnect between "beliefs" and "actions" in our society is very dangerous. That is my little diatribe... Clearly she still worships at the alter of vegetarianism, even if she can't personally practice. I ended up having to skim the last half of the book because it was so obnoxious. Why can't I find a good book recently? End note - from the cover art, I thought this was literally a love story between a vegetarian woman and a butcher. I kept waiting for her to meet the guy. I finally realized disappointingly that it wasn't going to happen.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette

    The cover is so deceiving that it's criminal. It's not a chick lit book at all nor is it really about men or morals. There's meat and there's Tara and the book is about navigating her way back to health and learning a lot about herself in the process. Growing up in a hippy Northern California enclave as a vegetarian, Tara didn't know the first thing about eating meat, except that not eating it made her feel like she was the weirdo. But when a few doctors and health practioners tell her to start The cover is so deceiving that it's criminal. It's not a chick lit book at all nor is it really about men or morals. There's meat and there's Tara and the book is about navigating her way back to health and learning a lot about herself in the process. Growing up in a hippy Northern California enclave as a vegetarian, Tara didn't know the first thing about eating meat, except that not eating it made her feel like she was the weirdo. But when a few doctors and health practioners tell her to start eating meat, Tara sees this as an adventure in an unknown world. She doesn't just talk to butchers, but talks to farmers, visits ranches and even witnesses slaughter day at Prather Ranch. If she's going to invest in eating meat, she wants to witness and experience all she can. Tara's descriptions of the food she eats (both the meat and the vegetarian stuff) is mouthwatering. It's a shame that the recipes she waxes on about weren't included in the book. It's a minor quibble.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Good book, it was nice to read a book that explores the way we eat without hiding behind the obvious agenda of "go vegan" (hello, Skinnybitch). This book is honest in that approach, entertaining enough storytelling and overall, pretty informative. The only thing I wish- some of the recipes were shared with the readers!!! Good book, it was nice to read a book that explores the way we eat without hiding behind the obvious agenda of "go vegan" (hello, Skinnybitch). This book is honest in that approach, entertaining enough storytelling and overall, pretty informative. The only thing I wish- some of the recipes were shared with the readers!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Disclaimer, I met Tara Austen Weaver a couple of years ago at the Literary Lions Gala, and we mostly talked about my best friend's master's thesis on bees, and I've just now got around to reading her book (and of course my copy is signed). I found the book to be funny, if a little repetitive, but also highly relatable. I was never raised as a vegetarian, my parents were strictly meat and potatoes people, and even now I'm still learning how to properly cook vegetables. And I've never been vegan, o Disclaimer, I met Tara Austen Weaver a couple of years ago at the Literary Lions Gala, and we mostly talked about my best friend's master's thesis on bees, and I've just now got around to reading her book (and of course my copy is signed). I found the book to be funny, if a little repetitive, but also highly relatable. I was never raised as a vegetarian, my parents were strictly meat and potatoes people, and even now I'm still learning how to properly cook vegetables. And I've never been vegan, or a raw foodist (although I do enjoy a good juice), and if it's tasty I'll happily eat a meatless meal. What I have done is spent many years and many futile hours at doctors' offices trying to figure out the root cause of mysterious health woes. I've been told to cut out dairy, only to finally figure out on my own (much like Weaver) that my problem with ice cream is actually the thickener xanthan gum and not the milk. I've been told to eat low FODMAP (which I disregarded without even attempting). And I've been told by dozens of well meaning, but not particularly helpful, friends, family members, and casual acquaintances that I should try XYZ and then I'd feel better. :: Insert the 'Sure Jan' Brady Bunch Gif here -- folks, don't give unsolicited medical advice to sick people... just... don't... We've heard it all, it's not helpful, we're not interested. :: I was a little disappointed that there wasn't an actual, specific butcher that Weaver developed a relationship with, but unlike some of the reviewers I wasn't expecting this to be a romance novel. (WTF? and LOL!) But Weaver did explore a lot of different ranches and small meat producers in areas that I'm either familiar with and/or live near, and I'm interested in checking them out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Rife with ethical dilemmas, The Butcher and the Vegetarian follows author Tara Austen Weaver’s struggle with eating and health. Raised on a strict, vegetarian diet she’s been happy to follow into her thirties, Tara suddenly finds meat-eating the doctor’s orders. And then multiple doctors’ orders. What to do? How to start? Weaver’s meandering tale is pure foodie flip-floppery, as she eats in ways that defy a label, trying to take her waning health in hand. What we’re eating is a charged choice the Rife with ethical dilemmas, The Butcher and the Vegetarian follows author Tara Austen Weaver’s struggle with eating and health. Raised on a strict, vegetarian diet she’s been happy to follow into her thirties, Tara suddenly finds meat-eating the doctor’s orders. And then multiple doctors’ orders. What to do? How to start? Weaver’s meandering tale is pure foodie flip-floppery, as she eats in ways that defy a label, trying to take her waning health in hand. What we’re eating is a charged choice these days, ethically speaking, from winter tomatoes to organic labelling issues. It’s rare to grow up veg and not have your choices challenged by friends, relatives, and even medical personnel, though you, like me, may be a nonconfrontational person who doesn’t object to others’ carnivorism and simply prefers a face-free, guiltless diet. Weaver’s embracing approach to all the major eating groups — meat-loving to raw — sets the tone for a truly unbiased memoir of one woman’s journey to find her ideal diet, food to replenish sapped energy levels and fuel her adventurous spirit. Weaver balances the scale between improved personal health and minimized environmental impact by thoroughly researching her food’s origins. Even if it means visiting a grass-fed beef ranching operation on slaughtering day and then downing a burger afterwards, Weaver proves it’s possible to make to make food decisions — meat or veg — that one can proudly defend. In the end, Weaver shares a personal experience and ends with a personal choice, one she admits is far from where she began and never expected to find herself. While Weaver’s eating habits may not be my own, this is a woman I’d invite to dinner for her thoughtful, open approach to both food and friendship. Find this review and more at www.christinereads.com.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Evangeline

    I was intrigued with the title and started reading the book. I was thinking it'll be more of a love story but turned out to be more of moral/ethical issues. It was was educational and made me question where does my food come from. It gives a personal insight on being a vegan and also the many options we can choose our food. The book dwells on current issues that people face nowadays. From saving our planet, economic crisis, and plain survival. I agree in eating less meat but economically speakin I was intrigued with the title and started reading the book. I was thinking it'll be more of a love story but turned out to be more of moral/ethical issues. It was was educational and made me question where does my food come from. It gives a personal insight on being a vegan and also the many options we can choose our food. The book dwells on current issues that people face nowadays. From saving our planet, economic crisis, and plain survival. I agree in eating less meat but economically speaking, organic vegetables and meat prices are very expensive and how can you support a family of 5 if you're an ordinary income earner? Conspiracy theory comes to mind. Does the government push people to eat meat so people will get sick and will require medications (big bucks for the pharmaceutical companies?) Could it be the reason why it cost more to eat healthy? A lot of points to pounder. Overall, I enjoyed the book and stimulated me intellectually.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Turner

    Two stars for ok. I had a similar problem of growing up vegetarian and due to health reason deciding after 23 years to start eating some meat. She is quirky and funny sometimes, but in the end too confused, and inevitably hypocritical because you can tell a. she never really was a full-on veghead, and b. she really likes meat and her guilt is a publisher's dramatic device, though a small bit hippie-mother-induced. Two stars for ok. I had a similar problem of growing up vegetarian and due to health reason deciding after 23 years to start eating some meat. She is quirky and funny sometimes, but in the end too confused, and inevitably hypocritical because you can tell a. she never really was a full-on veghead, and b. she really likes meat and her guilt is a publisher's dramatic device, though a small bit hippie-mother-induced.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    It made me think about eating bacon. Then I read a description of a cow being slaughtered and changed my mind. (Yes, I know that cows != bacon.) So the result of my reading this book is that I am still a vegetarian that now sometimes thinks of bacon.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tasha Hill

    This was an interesting one. Firstly I thought this was a fictional romance with a moral nearing eating dilemma. Then, catching on the the idea it's a memoir, thought it still had an element of romance to it. So there was an expectation that had to be adjusted to the whole way through this book. This book brought me to tears with the way it verbalises the complexity of eating and food manufacture generally but also it felt like the author reached inside my mind and put everything I have started a This was an interesting one. Firstly I thought this was a fictional romance with a moral nearing eating dilemma. Then, catching on the the idea it's a memoir, thought it still had an element of romance to it. So there was an expectation that had to be adjusted to the whole way through this book. This book brought me to tears with the way it verbalises the complexity of eating and food manufacture generally but also it felt like the author reached inside my mind and put everything I have started and then stopped myself thinking about, simply because there is no right answer. I will say that, it did also have elements of my brain that do not make good reading. It is repetitive (sometimes word for word), making me think this is actually a collection of blog posts. Also, at times I found myself bored, in a way I find myself bored with my own repetitive thoughts on the subject. This potentially is a book to dip in and out of, rather than deep dive into.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    Pleasant, easy read. The author has a pleasant voice and thoughtfully, personably navigates the many philosophies, influences, political angles, and personal preferences around meat, its production, and its culture. It all felt familiar to this sometimes-meat-dabbling vegetarian, and it was enjoyable, community-feeling escapism.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    "Making chicken soup is something I should know how to do. The Eastern European women I am descended from made vats of the stuff...a long line of Russian and Austrian women with wide hips and even wider soup pots - into which went a plucked chicken." "Making chicken soup is something I should know how to do. The Eastern European women I am descended from made vats of the stuff...a long line of Russian and Austrian women with wide hips and even wider soup pots - into which went a plucked chicken."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Photowriter

    I loved this book! As someone who sells Beef Bone Broth and who also believes in a plant based diet, following this author's journey spoke directly to me. I think everything she writes about is top of mind for most Americans. It was a very fast read, really well written and funny. I loved this book! As someone who sells Beef Bone Broth and who also believes in a plant based diet, following this author's journey spoke directly to me. I think everything she writes about is top of mind for most Americans. It was a very fast read, really well written and funny.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Taylor

    Not the best book to be reading while trying intermittent fasting; lots of food descriptions. Not much of a story (book jacket is misleading.) But I learn ed some things so 3 stars for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Charissa

    A refreshingly non-partisan overview of a murky topic; I liked it, even though I did not find anything especially groundbreaking in it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Checked out from Ohio Digital Library Had its moments. Thought my daughter might enjoy it

  22. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Oakley

    I wanted to like this book. As a vegetarian I suffered through pages of meat, death, and more meat, hoping for redemption in the end. The author presents two sides of a story the entire book and ends up choosing a perspective that was never a part of the narrative? I'm confused. I know she justifies it by saying she's happy and healthy, and that's great and all but what's the end to the story? Anyways as a vegetarian I wouldn't recommend this book to other moral/ethical vegetarians. If you are v I wanted to like this book. As a vegetarian I suffered through pages of meat, death, and more meat, hoping for redemption in the end. The author presents two sides of a story the entire book and ends up choosing a perspective that was never a part of the narrative? I'm confused. I know she justifies it by saying she's happy and healthy, and that's great and all but what's the end to the story? Anyways as a vegetarian I wouldn't recommend this book to other moral/ethical vegetarians. If you are vegetarian for the sake of health, the environment, or because you just don't like meat you may find this an enjoyable journey to embark on. But as a vegetarian who is vegetarian for purely ethical reasons I find her lack of conviction about ANYTHING (for or against) very annoying and frankly a let down. I did give the book three stars because it kept my attention the entire read and I can respect the effort that went into writing it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm not really sure what the point of this book was supposed to be. The author, a self-described life-long vegetarian (who has eaten meat in restaurants most of her life... so is that really a vegetarian?), is told by her Dr. to eat more meat in the hopes of correcting some health issues. The book chronicles her "adventures" and mishaps through the meat-eating world. This is a tired story. In the past decade so many life-long vegetarians are now deciding to eat meat because of health issues or b I'm not really sure what the point of this book was supposed to be. The author, a self-described life-long vegetarian (who has eaten meat in restaurants most of her life... so is that really a vegetarian?), is told by her Dr. to eat more meat in the hopes of correcting some health issues. The book chronicles her "adventures" and mishaps through the meat-eating world. This is a tired story. In the past decade so many life-long vegetarians are now deciding to eat meat because of health issues or because humanely and pastured-raised meats are more readily available - or both. The story has no particular climax... but it certainly is full of pro-vegetarian, conventional wisdom and Standard American Diet rhetoric... low-fat, eat less meat, blah blah blah. The author also refers to non-meat eaters as carnivores more than a dozen times. Another pro-vegetarian spin trick. And although she quotes Michael Pollan and his book The Omnivore's Dilemma many times, she prefers the term carnivore over omnivore time and time again. Ah, sensationalism... In the end the author decides on a raw foods "hippie" diet rather than traditional vegetarian/vegan or meat-eating diet. Claiming she had more energy and felt better than she had in years on this diet. She also claims she felt heavy and tired and gained THREE WHOLE POUNDS on the meat-eating diet. What she doesn't say much about is that she was eating grains, pastas, breads, and basically high-carb on the vegetarian and meat diets. Grains, especially wheat-containing gluten in known for causing inflammation in the body, leading to a whole host of autoimmune diseases and symptoms of fatigue, etc. Only on the raw food diet did she cut these out. For the record, eating meat, vegetables and good fats is associated with losing weight, lowered cholesterol, lowered rates of heart disease, curing autoimmune issues such as skin problems, Hashimoto's, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and even lessening the symptoms of MS and autism! In the end, I found the book difficult to finish, full of CNN-type conventional-wisdom anti-meat-eating mantras. Did the author go through the same which-diet-do-I-follow conundrum that we all go through and then wake up one morning and think people would really want to read about it? The writing style is really good. It's the only thing that kept me reading. If the author chose to write about something else that was useful or interesting, she might have a hit. I can see now why it is on remainder (bargain-bin) so soon. It's not the chick-lit book that the cover fools you into thinking it is. I'm glad I borrowed this one from the library, instead of purchasing it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I suppose it is only appropriate to offer the caveat that having followed Ms. Weaver's blog for the past year, I was overjoyed at the opportunity to support her writing (and food-loving) efforts by purchasing this book and attending her first reading. Hearing some of the background and side stories whetted my appetite to indulge in the book itself, and I was not disappointed (although I am inclined to agree with the author and her agent that a question mark would have better suited the cover in I suppose it is only appropriate to offer the caveat that having followed Ms. Weaver's blog for the past year, I was overjoyed at the opportunity to support her writing (and food-loving) efforts by purchasing this book and attending her first reading. Hearing some of the background and side stories whetted my appetite to indulge in the book itself, and I was not disappointed (although I am inclined to agree with the author and her agent that a question mark would have better suited the cover in place of the heart between the butcher and customer). Having read my fare share of trite literature lately, Weaver's stylistic approach to language was refreshing. As a hybrid of food-writing and memoir, she skillfully combined facts and research about the production of meat with stories and then wove them back to relate to her own life. The book begins with the premise that she grew up a vegetarian but later, suffering from health problems, undertook the addition of meat to her diet upon her doctors' recommendation. A number of topics are covered in the book. I hesitate to say too many, but perhaps some of the emphasis she might have liked the reader to pick up on got lost in the shuffle of ideas. Between the morality of eating animals, pursuing health, abiding by or resisting social norms, the residual effects of a vegetarian upbringing, and various personal struggles, I sometimes felt certain anecdotes were introduced merely to reconnect the reader to the author on a human level. Since it is a book about one woman's journey through various dietary restrictions and liberations, personal stories are to be expected. However, the amount of research that went into her process of searching for a healthy, sustainable diet was substantial and spills onto the pages. As someone who often takes food for granted, I took great interest in the information regarding how the animals are raised and the different ways cows can be raised humanely. Perhaps my focus was not directed as Weaver would have intended, but that is something that should have been considered in the drafting. Regardless, the book provoked further interest into what exactly I am supporting when I buy beef from Safeway, and any book that prompts the reader to re-evaluate a situation should be considered a success. I only wish she would have included an appendix of the mouth-watering recipes she frequently mentions! (originally posted at http://www.read-all-over.net/nonficti...)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Juliette

    I loved the book although it wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be when I decided to read it, I was plesantly surprised. The author Tara was raised a vegetarian by a mother who smartly only wanted the best for her children. I can understand Tara not liking how something as simple as what she ate made her an outsider among her childhood friends, but her mother saw way beyond that. Kudos to her mother who most mothers today should aspire to be like including the lack of tv. But of course a I loved the book although it wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be when I decided to read it, I was plesantly surprised. The author Tara was raised a vegetarian by a mother who smartly only wanted the best for her children. I can understand Tara not liking how something as simple as what she ate made her an outsider among her childhood friends, but her mother saw way beyond that. Kudos to her mother who most mothers today should aspire to be like including the lack of tv. But of course all my personal opinion. As for the book. I expected Tara to go carnivore and not look back but that wasn't the case. Although she immediately found a fondness for meat, she didn't discount all of the health benefits gained by those who eat vegan and vegetarian. She didn't dismiss the science, and made it easy for one teetering between eating meat or veg to have most of the facts at their disposal. She laid it all out (good bad and ugly) and left it up to us to decide. Great job! Also, I like her writing style and since my childhood was like the "normal" childhood" she describes. I thank her for giving me the opportunity to see the way the other half lived. I brought up being veg in my home as a child and it was not well recieved. But hearing her story. For as much as I eat veg/vegan/raw now, I would not trade my normal (able to fit in) childhood for anything. Vegetarianism is what made me read her in the first place but because I like her easy writing style. I may venture off ot read more of her travel books.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    What this book isn't: - A book bringing new information to light about factory farming and why eating local happy meat is the way to go. There were one or two interesting tidbits that I might not have known before (as well as fairly graphic descriptions of slaughter on small farms), and most of it's been covered in other meat-related books. - A romance about a woman who meets a butcher and falls in love while she's experimenting with eating meat. Disappointing, that. There are butchers and cowboys What this book isn't: - A book bringing new information to light about factory farming and why eating local happy meat is the way to go. There were one or two interesting tidbits that I might not have known before (as well as fairly graphic descriptions of slaughter on small farms), and most of it's been covered in other meat-related books. - A romance about a woman who meets a butcher and falls in love while she's experimenting with eating meat. Disappointing, that. There are butchers and cowboys that she discusses with some lust (and an assault description that was the hardest thing in the book for me to read), and no other men. Not what you'd expect from the title and cover. What this book is: - A relatively forgettable tale of a lifelong vegetarian with chronic exhaustion who starts giving meat a try at the behest of her doctors. She discusses some of the ins and outs of a selecting good-quality meats from a ranch you trust, learning how to cook meat when you're much closer to broccoli, and figuring out what your body needs. It's a quick, easy read, and probably only worth your time if you want to learn a little more about the debate surrounding meat production and The Omnivore's Dilemma or other books of that ilk seem too heavy for your tastes. She does provide a great resource section at the end, if nothing else.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brenna

    Gross gross EW gross. NO. Just..no. I have no idea but I thought this was going to be a love story LOL SPOILER ITS NOT. Its about an over-weight woman who quickly grabs the excuse to be come a 'full-fleged meat eater' once a doctor gives her the idea... GIVE ME A BREAK! If your gonna eat meat just do it, don't blame it on doctors or who the eff its 'CAUSE YOU WANT IT. I can't believe I even made it half way through this thing I wanted to throw up so bad. How could she keep eating it!? No self con Gross gross EW gross. NO. Just..no. I have no idea but I thought this was going to be a love story LOL SPOILER ITS NOT. Its about an over-weight woman who quickly grabs the excuse to be come a 'full-fleged meat eater' once a doctor gives her the idea... GIVE ME A BREAK! If your gonna eat meat just do it, don't blame it on doctors or who the eff its 'CAUSE YOU WANT IT. I can't believe I even made it half way through this thing I wanted to throw up so bad. How could she keep eating it!? No self control? Truly believed it would make her thinner? Sometimes people are made to be big! Maybe try taking sugar out first or even try being a vegan but going from being a "mostly vegetarian" to ingesting flesh isn't gonna do anything for ya health wise. I can read/watch books and films on meat and be totally fine but its the way she finds the grossest bits about it and then percedes to still it eat?! If I wasn't completly turned off by meat before this certainly helped. Like she went deep into it with cooking it and seeing the animals being killed GEEEZZZZ-UUSSSS. Ugh I was so disgusted I think even a meat eater would find this to be gross. Anyway I found this to be stomach-turning, disturbing, and infuriating. ENJOY Yours truly, A Peskatarian (Who ever said Peskatarians eat birds are full of shit) :D

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maija

    Interesting read. I've been reading Tara's blog (Tea and Cookies) for several years now, and have always enjoyed her writing, so I had her blog voice & images in my mind as I read this. In this book, she writes about her experience growing up vegetarian, then being told by her doctor to try eating meat for her health problems. She talks about the difficulty of learning how to cook meat, never learning while growing up, and the intimidating world of meat - hanging out with BBQ dudes and visiting Interesting read. I've been reading Tara's blog (Tea and Cookies) for several years now, and have always enjoyed her writing, so I had her blog voice & images in my mind as I read this. In this book, she writes about her experience growing up vegetarian, then being told by her doctor to try eating meat for her health problems. She talks about the difficulty of learning how to cook meat, never learning while growing up, and the intimidating world of meat - hanging out with BBQ dudes and visiting the meat counter. I could relate, as I have never been much of a meat eater - as a kid, my favorite restaurant was one with a salad bar & even at McDonald's, I usually got a salad instead of a Happy Meal. I eat mostly veggie still - occasionally some fish, maybe turkey or chicken or some wild game caught by a family member. It's a difficult choice to eat meat, especially the more you know about the industry and health impacts and so on. This book ponders that - and while she doesn't necessary come to conclusions, I think it's a worthwhile read, as it's good to question - if you had never eaten meat before, would you start?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    This book was a big disappointment. I think the author was trying to be like Michael Pollen, or Nina Plank, but frankly, she just came across as a liberal, condescending whiner. The whole first half of the book she has a holier-than-thou type of attitude towards omnivores, having been raised as a vegetarian herself. Unlike Pollen and Plank, in their excellent books, Ms. Weaver does not really back up her ideas with scientific studies. And I am usually skeptical of those anyway, but I really thin This book was a big disappointment. I think the author was trying to be like Michael Pollen, or Nina Plank, but frankly, she just came across as a liberal, condescending whiner. The whole first half of the book she has a holier-than-thou type of attitude towards omnivores, having been raised as a vegetarian herself. Unlike Pollen and Plank, in their excellent books, Ms. Weaver does not really back up her ideas with scientific studies. And I am usually skeptical of those anyway, but I really think this book is too heavy on opinion. She doesn't seem to realize that even many of us who eat conventionally raised meat and eggs have issues with it, but we can't afford grass fed and pastured animals often. That and the fact that she constantly has to tell us how "manly" she is about some things. Okay, I get it, but I don't need to hear it over and over again. Then there is the two pages dedicated to her sexual molestation and later a sexual assault. They just come out of nowhere. I am sorry they happened to her, but I was not prepared for that in this book. Meh. Don't recommend. Instead, read Nina Plank's "Real Food", or Michael Pollen's "Omnivore's Dilemma".

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna Jo Atwood

    This is a nonfiction foodie-type book (my library has it in the Biographies?) by a woman raised as a vegetarian who, when she decides for health reason to start eating meat, investigates why we make such a production of meat--in many senses of the word. She examines the economic and moral implications of eating meat, especially from the standpoint of eating locally. The cover is very misleading--makes you think it's going to be a light-hearted romantic romp through the meat market. While it is This is a nonfiction foodie-type book (my library has it in the Biographies?) by a woman raised as a vegetarian who, when she decides for health reason to start eating meat, investigates why we make such a production of meat--in many senses of the word. She examines the economic and moral implications of eating meat, especially from the standpoint of eating locally. The cover is very misleading--makes you think it's going to be a light-hearted romantic romp through the meat market. While it is examining the meat market, it is not all that romantic. (Although she does have a cowboy fixation.) Weaver does take a rather clear-eyed view of the practicalities of ranching and of the slaughtering end of the business. She may talk about cute little calves and baby chicks, but she doesn't lose sight of the butchering that it takes to turn the animal into meat. She feels she is straddling both worlds -- vegetarian and meat-eating--and her writing reflects this. I'd really like to give this 3.5 stars.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.