The Butcher and the Vegetarian by Tara Austen Weaver

The Butcher and the Vegetarian

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....

Details The Butcher and the Vegetarian

TitleThe Butcher and the Vegetarian
Release DateFeb 1st, 2010
PublisherRodale Books
GenreFood and Drink, Food, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Food Writing, Biography Memoir

Reviews The Butcher and the Vegetarian

  • 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, ...
  • Cara
    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...
  • 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 nee...
  • 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 inv...
  • 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 ...
  • 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, ...
  • 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 tho...
  • 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...
  • 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!!!
  • 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 prop...
  • 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 wan...
  • 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 ...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Charissa
    A refreshingly non-partisan overview of a murky topic; I liked it, even though I did not find anything especially groundbreaking in it.
  • 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.
  • 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 boo...
  • Jeni
    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 ...
  • 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 qu...
  • 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...
  • Brenna
    Gross gross EW gross. 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 ...
  • 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. D...
  • 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 us...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ro...
  • Marsha
    When Tara A. Weaver suffered from fatigue and weight gain, her medical caretakers couldn’t diagnose what was wrong with her. But they all told her the same thing: she needed to eat meat. This was shattering news for a life-long vegetarian and entailed a radical change in her lifestyle. This book describes Tara’s struggles with her conscience, liberality and surprising enjoyment of the foodstuffs she had avoided for most of her life. The very ...
  • Jessica
    Based on the title and the cover I assumed this would be more of a love-interest story where a vegetarian meets and falls in love with a butcher who slowly introduces her to eating meat. That was not the storyline at all, but I stil enjoyed the book! Basically the author grew up as a vegetarian and although occasionally ate meat at a friends house or in a restaurant, she still considered herself a vegetarian. Then she starts experiencing health p...
  • Debbie
    Staci recommended this book to me, and I found out this past weekend that Martin has read it as well. It starts out a little slow but once you get past the first few chapters it picks up speed. Tara was raised by her vegetarian mom and while that's what she and her brother would eat at home, they did eat meat when out at restaurants or at friends homes. Once she is an adult, she develops some health issues that causes her to go in search of ways ...