Home > About Me, Food, Politics > Compromise in my personal life just got de-stressed – thanks to a book I just finished!

Compromise in my personal life just got de-stressed – thanks to a book I just finished!

I just finished reading Catherine Friend’s The Compassionate Carnivore (purchasing info at the end of this post) and it clarified a lot of my thoughts over the past few months. In many ways, Catherine’s reasoning gave me “permission” to not feel bad about my gradual approach to changing things, not only in what and how I eat, but more widely how I live. I highly recommend it no matter what kind of “vore” you are, but even if you have no interest in clarifying your thoughts on meat, the process she leads you through provides a great argument for making personal changes slowly.

As an aside, I want to emphasize the word “personal” in the last sentence. Thinking globally while acting locally is a great sentiment, but we all have our own lives, and attempting radical, sudden change in personal habits has a high probability of long term failure, if for no other reason than the stress of the change itself! I do not accept the gradualist approach to many changes in the larger, political arena: Health care must be reformed, fundamentally, drastically and quickly!

Anyway, back to The Compassionate Carnivore: Catherine guides you through her own personal journey, as a farmer (primarily shepherd) who struggles – and works through – the issues involving the ethics/morality of raising and slaughtering (or purchasing) animals for meat. I encourage you to buy the book. Although she doesn’t say so, implicit in her story is a personal argument for taking lots of small successful steps instead of sudden great leaps.

Three months ago, I was ready to take the leap to a diet that was completely Organic, Locally Sourced, and cooked mostly by myself, but I’ve run into quite a few roadblocks. Locally sourced AND Organic is expensive. Locally sourced OR Organic — not so much, but still more expensive than conventional, over processed food. Then there is the TIME necessary to find these – and although I’m blessed by living in an area with a lot of great sources, making finding things fairly easy, I’m still consuming too much time on this. Finally, for many items, I’m still wasting too much because I can’t stand the repetitious menus necessary to fully consume the minimum available purchase quantity of many perishables before they go bad – a major problem if you are (as I am) cooking for only yourself. All of this was really frustrating and stressing me. Something had to give in my life, and Catherine’s personal journey through raising, slaughtering and eating lamp, along with purchasing and consuming other meat and dairy products, has given me external validation that it’s OK to take things in small steps.

While I haven’t (yet) decided where to compromise, I’m no longer guilty about compromising. Thank you Catherine!

If you want to purchase The Compassionate Carnivore, here’s the info:

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-0-7382-6309-5  $14.99 List
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60094-007-1 $24.00 List

You can buy it through the book specific website – be sure to visit the author’s site from there, or through all the usual online sources (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc.), but I urge you to support small booksellers. One I like in particular is Omnivore Books in San Francisco. It’s a very friendly place and, based on my simply telling them that I’m about to blog about The Compassionate Carnivore, they’ve decided to order a few copies. Please order from them (phone orders cheerfully accepted) or at least from an independent bookseller who is local to you!

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