Synopses & Reviews
For most of her life, Catherine Friend was a carnivore who preferred not to consider where the meat on her plate came from--beef didn't have a face, chicken didn't have a personality, and pork certainly shouldn't have feelings. But Friend's attitude began to change after she and her partner bought a farm and began raising sheep for meat. Friend's ensuing odyssey through the world of livestock and farming is a journey that offers critical insights--for omnivores and herbivores alike--into how our meat is raised, how we buy it and from whom, and why change is desirable and possible.
From a distressing lesson about her favorite Minnesota State Fair food (pork-chop-on-a-stick) to the surprising gratitude that came from eating an animal she'd raised and loved, Friend takes us on a wild and woolly ride through her small farm (with several brief detours into life on factory farms), along the way raising questions such as: What are the differences between factory, conventional, sustainable, and organic farms, and more importantly, why do we need to understand those differences? What do all those labels--from organic to local to grass fed and pasture raised--really mean? If you're buying from a small farmer, what are the key questions to ask? How do you find that small farmer, and what's the best way to help her help you?
In the same witty and warm style that characterized her memoir Hit by a Farm, Friend uses her perspective as a sustainable farmer and carnivore to consider meat animals' quality of life--while still supporting the choice to eat meat. Regardless of whether you eat meat once a day, once a week, or once a year, your perspective of what goes on your plate--and in yourmouth--will never be the same.
Bookslut.com, July 2009
“Friend presents a compelling case that there's plenty wrong with the way Americans eat meat. The Compassionate Carnivore is chock full of facts and well cited, drawing from a variety of sources. I applaud Friend's approach of finding balance between the extremes of mindless consumption and hyperawareness.”
Gastronomica magazine, summer issue
“Friend’s passion for farming and the fact that she continues to wrestle with her own recommendations add up to a readable, informative tale.”
The author of "Hit by a Farm" tackles the carnivore's dilemma, exploring the contradictions and questions surrounding the bewildering choices facing today's more conscientious meat eaters.
Catherine Friend tackles the carnivores dilemma, exploring the contradictions, nuances, questions, and bewildering choices facing todays more conscious meat-eaters. The Compassionate Carnivore is perfect for people who would like to eat meat but have moral, ethical, or health concerns about doing so” (Marion Nestle, What to Eat). Based on her own personal struggle, Friends original, witty take on the meat and livestock debates shows consumers how they can be healthy and humane carnivores, too.
About the Author
is the author of Hit by a Farm
, as well as six childrens books and two novels. She farms in Minnesota with her partner of twenty-five years.