Having survived a vegetarian childhood of aggressively healthy fare—more brown rice and steamed vegetables than you can shake a stick at—Tara taught herself how to cook. She became good at it too, whipping up fine meatless fare for friends and family. Then she became sick, and the doctors had an unexpected prescription for her: Eat Meat.
The Butcher & The Vegetarian is the story of one woman trying to figure it out. Should we eat meat, how much meat should we eat, and how the heck do you cook it? With the redemption of broccoli on one shoulder, the temptation of bacon on the other, she tries to figure out the world of meat and the men who live in it.
A very human exploration, from heart-searching to heart-gladdening.
A toothsome take on the learning-to-eat-better memoir… honest and endearing.
Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
Just about every page has some lovely turn of phrase or surprising revelation, heartbreaking or hilarious, that makes you want to drop all to consume every bite of this satisfying memoir.
Oh, will you ever want a seat at the Tea & Cookies blogger’s table after reading her sublime descriptions of food.
Some may find her forthright journey more entrancing than Julie & Julia. Its honesty and surprise ending are delightful.
A mouthwatering excursion through environmental and food issues with what may be a surprising denouement for most readers.
Weaver is curious and adventurous, and that is the charm of the book: She approaches the world of meat as if she were a tourist in an exotic land, and even though she might not move there permanently, she’s not leaving until she’s sampled everything.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
This food writer’s memoir is both entertaining and thought-provoking, as she grapples with the relationship between her vegetarian upbringing and some serious health issues, and gets a crash course in the world of meat production and consumption.
I thoroughly enjoyed Tara Austen Weaver’s, The Butcher and the Vegetarian. She’s a wonderful writer, smart, funny, human and honest. I’ve been struggling with the issues she confronts in her book, and she helped me sort some things out while entertaining me every step of the way.
Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies
Weaver is a thoughtful eater who thinks before she chews…she mulls over questions we all should be anxious to answer about our food: Is meat healthy or just a guilty pleasure? Is eating it humane, to animals and to the planet? Do vegetarians really get enough protein? With wit and sensible reasoning, Weaver shares her ruminations with an assortment of experts…And she writes beautifully and deliciously about food—be it carnivorous, vegetarian, vegan, or raw. I’m hungry!
Elle magazine, nonfiction reader’s selection
There is no simple answer to the question of whether or not we should eat meat, and what I love about this book is that Tara isn’t daunted by that. She takes on the topic with real intellect and heart, engaging it in its full complexity, and the result is an honest, insightful, and wonderfully nuanced book.
Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, orangette.net
The Butcher and the Vegetarian is a heartfelt exploration of the complications of eating meat in our culture. I learned enormously, laughed, and was moved to tears. Tara is a generous, impassioned writer with stories you have not heard before. This book will make you think.
Shauna James Ahern, author of Gluten-free Girl and the Chef, glutenfreegirl.com
Tara Austen Weaver is our travel guide on a captivating carnivore journey through meals, morals, and finding the life we want to live. The Butcher and the Vegetarian reads like the best meals taste: Tender, searing, and just a little bit spicy.
Rebekah Denn, James Beard award-winning journalist, eatallaboutit.com
Tara Austen Weaver has written a sweet and funny account of her adventures in meat eating. Her vegetarian upbringing makes the story special; and her journey will gently nudge even the most devout carnivore. If you are worried about your health and the health of your fellow animals, Austen’s revealing memoir is a must-read.
Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer, novellacarpenter.com
In a quest for better health, Weaver, a lifelong vegetarian, embarks on a self-guided meat-eating journey that challenges not only her palate, but her upbringing, identity and sense of place in the world. With grace and humor, Weaver takes us along for the bumpy ride, and just when you think you’ve got her all figured out, she surprises you, over and again. This is a woman who dances to the beat of her own whisk.
Kim O’Donnel, author of Licking Your Chops: A Meatless Guide for Meat Lovers, true/slant.com
A beautifully-written, very even-handed look at both vegetarianism and the meat industry…both incredibly entertaining and intelligent. I could not recommend this book more.
Karen Waldron, author of The Beauty of Different, chookooloonks.com
The Butcher & The Vegetarian in New York magazine’s Grub Street
Quoted in Newsweek (No More Sacred Cows)
Profile of Tara in Women’s Wear Daily (Meat, Please)
Book review in The Daily Green
Write up in The Oregonian
Book review on Read All Over Reviews
Audio interview with Tara on KOMO (Seattle)
Tara’s dining picks for vegetarian and meat eaters on Food & Wine blog
Book review in Entertainment Weekly
Book review in USA Today
Book review on Not Martha blog
Interview with Tara in San Jose Mercury News (A Vegetarian Goes Over to the Dark [Meat] Side)
Book review in the New Jersey Star-Ledger
Book review in The Winnipeg Free Press
Book review in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
Book blurb in The Seattle Times
Book review on Amazon’s Aldente blog
Starred review from Publisher’s Weekly
Book write up on Chookooloonks blog
Book write up on Gluten-Free Girl blog
Quoted in the Santa Fe New Mexican
Quoted in Body & Soul magazine