Join Tovar Cerulli for a discussion of the unlikely and provocative journey from vegan to hunter. A meditation on the ethics and ecology of food. An adventurous quest for dinner.
As a boy, Tovar Cerulli spent his summers fishing for trout and hunting bullfrogs. At twenty, moved by the compassionate words of Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and concerned about the ecological impacts of meat, he became a vegetarian. Soon he went vegan.
A decade later, in the face of declining health, he returned to omnivory. Searching for ethical, ecologically responsible ways to come to terms with his food, he began to contemplate the unthinkable: hunting. Two years later, he took up a deer rifle.
In his deeply personal narrative Mindful Carnivore, Cerulli explored our most elemental relationship with nature: food. From a fateful encounter with a brook trout to a rekindled relationship with the only hunter in his family, he traced the evolution of his dietary philosophy. Contemplating vegetable gardens, farm fields, and deer woods with intellectual and emotional candor, he stalked both food and meaning.
Cerulli brings nuance to conversations often dominated by black-and-white thinking. He sets contemporary debates in context by looking back over centuries of history and delving into our changing natural and cultural landscapes. In place of moral certainties, he offers questions:
Can hunters and vegetarians be motivated by similar values and instincts? In this time of intensifying concern over ecological degradation and animal welfare, how do we make peace with the fact that, even in growing organic vegetables, life is sustained by death? Explore these questions and more when Tovar Cerulli visits Phoenix Books Burlington.
Tovar Cerulli grew up in Vermont and New Hampshire. He split his undergraduate years between Dartmouth College and the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, and has worked as a carpenter and freelance writer. An environmentalist, Tovar has also worked as a logger. In 2009, he was awarded a graduate school fellowship by UMass-Amherst, where he is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. student. His research is focused on food, hunting, and human relationships with nature.