The Butcher and The Vegetarian by Tara Austen Weaver is a must read! When we were visiting Jenny in Georgia, my dear friend Janelle brought it up. I immediately put it on my book list, because that girl has great taste in everything from books and music to clothes and food. I must admit when I picked it up from the library I really didn’t know what to expect.
Let me give you a little synopsis of the book. Tara grew up in a vegetarian household and was always very diet conscious. In her 30s she was surprised when her physician said that for her health she must start eating meat. This book documents her entrance into the world of meat and her discoveries along the way.
In the past year I have become increasingly fascinated with food and how it affects your health. I do believe there is a direct correlation, but does that mean that everyone needs to eat EXACTLY the same way? Is there one RIGHT way to eat? Should I immediately change to a vegan diet?
I appreciate Tara’s insights so much because she understands that food is not a black and white issue. What a relief to discover and be reassured of this! There is no ONE RIGHT WAY to eat. Tara shares with readers her week of eating meat at every meal, her week of eating entirely vegetarian and her week of eating raw meals. In the end she discovers what way of eating works best for her, but she doesn’t box herself in. If she feels like eating something outside of that then she isn’t going to berate herself for it.
One of my favorite quotes in the entire book came at the end of the book. Tara said, “Food is a funny thing; it can bring us together, but it can divide us as well- vegetarian, carnivore, vegan. I'm trying not to get stuck at the bottom of the chasm. Sharing meals is important to me. As a child raised at a dining table that was lonely, the act of sitting together to eat feels sacred. This is how I create my community; this is how I care for those I love. Regardless of what we eat, we should all be able to eat together.”
I completely agree with her. We need to stop acting holier than thou when it comes to eating and start respecting each other’s choices when it comes to food. I still don’t know exactly where I fall on the food spectrum, but with time I will figure out what is best for my body and my health. I think the bottom line is that as a society we MUST step away from the terrible processed food and the greasy fast food chains and start eating healthier food that is beneficial to our bodies, whether it is meat or vegetables.
One last thing I wanted to share from her book is about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). This is a great way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. A farmer offers a box of vegetables, fruit or meat each week. The beautiful thing about this is that you KNOW where your food is coming from. I found this website where you can search by state to find local farmers in your area who participate.
I would love to hear your comments on how you eat and your perspective about food.
"He woke each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor it." E.B. White