In The Mindful Carnivore (Pegasus Books, 2012), Tovar Cerulli traces the evolution of his dietary philosophy from veganism to hunting. As a boy, Cerulli spent his summers fishing for trout and hunting bullfrogs. While still in high school, he began to experiment with vegetarianism. By the age of twenty he was a vegan. A decade later, in the face of declining health, he returned to omnivory and within a few years found himself heading into the woods, rifle in hand.
Through his personal quest, Cerulli bridges these disparate worldviews and questions moral certainties. Are fishing and hunting barbaric, murderous anachronisms? Or can they be respectful ways for humans to connect with nature (and their food)? How harmless is vegetarianism? Can hunters and vegetarians be motivated by similar values and instincts?
In this time of intensifying concern over ecological degradation and animal welfare, how do we make peace with the fact that, even by growing organic vegetables, life is sustained by death? Drawing on personal experience, philosophy, history, and religion, Cerulli argues America’s overly sanitized habits of consumption have disconnected us from our food, resulting in the spiritual and environmental crises, some see us facing now.
At once compassionate and probing, The Mindful Carnivore invites us to reconsider what it means to eat.
The book can be purchased online at Pegasus Books.
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