Order Early, Order Often!

I know that’s supposed to refer to voting, but I’ve stolen it for my own nefarious purposes.

Somehow, between chores and speaking engagements and eating and sleeping, I’ve managed to write another book. It was a difficult birth, but she’s almost ready to face the world. I can’t seem to make the above cover any larger, so here’s the complete title: The Compassionate Carnivore: Or, How to Keep Animals Happy, Save Old MacDonald’s Farm, Reduce Your Hoofprint, and Still Eat Meat.

The official release date is April 21, or May 1—I’ve seen both—but I think you could order your copy now, which would be HUGELY helpful to a writer such as myself. The bookstore owners/managers will say, “Wow, what’s this book everyone is preordering? Mayhaps I should buy more copies for the store!” (I realize few bookstore owners/managers will say ‘mayhaps,’ but I’m currently writing a pirate novel and they talk weird.)

Where to order the book? Any brick and mortar bookstore would be great because it would get the book in a bookseller’s hands, if only for a moment. But if you don’t have one available, online is just as good. Advance sales send a strong message to my publisher as well, and he might be more likely to say, “Hmmm, mayhaps I should buy another manuscript from this Catherine Friend…”

So what’s the book about? Here’s what Marion Nestle, author of What To Eat, said: “At last, the perfect book for people who would like to eat meat but have moral, ethical, or health concerns about doing so. Catherine Friend loves animals but eats meat and gives a thoughtful, personal, clear-eyed perspective on how to do both, humanely and sustainably.”

Here’s what Joan Gussow, author of This Organic Life, said: “A rich and enjoyable read…You have a great voice, and your repeated acknowledgment of the difficulty of changing the meat one eats in this insane food system–and your candor about your own inability to do so consistently–is great.”

A reviewer contacted me directly, and said, “I am impressed at your extensive research, the catchy subtitles, the layman’s terms for explaining intricate processes without sounding condescending, and how enjoyable this informative book is to read…You are so funny–I could listen to you talk all day.” (Unfortunately, since I asked her to say that last line, we should probably take it with a grain of salt.)

I’m not anti-meat, anti-veggie, anti-farmer…I’m just pro-“paying more attention to the lives of meat animals.” Hopefully the book will help people take small steps toward doing that, without going crazy. (Of course, if you’re already crazy, please don’t hold me responsible.)

More on book as the time nears…am thinking about starting a blog where compassionate carnivores can chat and exchange info, but Melissa looks at me as if I’ve grown a third head: “Two blogs?”

We’ll see… The book has its own website: www.compassionatecarnivore.com

14 thoughts on “

  1. Argh! I’d just written a lengthy post and tried to publish it when my server went out. Ahhh, the modern “conveniences” of computers.

    So, to reiterate:

    Two blogs: rah, rah! They are addicting (both to write and read). And, a blog that will take more of a “reader comment form” will be easier / more interesting to “keep up” if you, yourself, don’t have time to frequently post.

    And, congrats on the book! Butchering day is never a fun day, but it’s incredibly rewarding to know what went into that animal from Day 1 . . . and to be responsible for your own (or most of the) processing of it . . . and to then eat something you’ve raised yourself. We’re not religious, but we do “give thanks” to each animal as it’s butchered, and that helps some of the psychological yuckiness of the project. (Although, there’s not much to be done about the physical yuckiness of it – blech!)

    Happy Two-Days-Before-Spring from snowy northeastern MN where it’s still very much winter!

  2. Here’s wishing you the best on your new book. I, too, raise meat animals, and it took a bit of time and pondering to come to terms with killing and devouring an animal that you came to know so well.(I grew up in the city) Many a visitor will ask us how we can have them slaughtered, much less eat them! I consider the life they live on our small farm, compared to a large impersonal operation, and with the end results the same, I choose the small farm. I can’t wait to read the upcoming book, and perhaps it’ll be a great present for some of my family and friends that still don’t understand us!

  3. Chicken mama—you’re way ahead of me, since I’ve never butchered an animal. I don’t do well with blood of any sort, including my own.

    Carol—It’s so true. People wonder how a farmer can have her animals slaughtered, but they don’t seem to ‘get’ that the meat they eat was once an animal on someone’s farm.

    Hopefully my book will educate, and at the same time, entertain a bit as well.

  4. You know, in this line of people not “getting” the fact that the meat on their table was once “on the hoof”, I have this story to share.

    My husband and I moved to a fairly remote area of northeastern MN a couple of years ago. Our closest neighbor is 13 (driving) miles away.

    We’ve kept up a blog to let our friends and family know about our life. When it came time to butcher chickens the first time, I thought it would be educational to show the process. So, I posted a (tasteful, if that’s the right word) picture of the be-heading, one of the processing/eviscerating, and then one of the chicken in the stew pot bubbling away with all the yummy herbs & veggies I’d added.

    The response from one of my dearest girlfriends – who grew up in the same small town I did but now lives in the city – admitted that “okay, now that was too much information for me – I PREFER to let myself believe that my meat comes wrapped in cellophane at the grocery store and that that’s the way it’s [the meat’s] always been”.

    I firmly believe that most people would either become vegetarians or develop a WHOLE DIFFERENT WAY of thinking about what they consume if they had ANY idea how it’s (commercially) raised / grown / processed, etc.

    Hope this didn’t sound like a rant. I didn’t mean it to be.

    🙂 Chicken Mama

  5. No, don’t think you’re ranting, just frustrated. In order for many people to eat meat, they must totally ignore what they are doing.

    Are there other things in life that people can only do if they totally ignore what they are doing?

    A woman emailed me last year: “If you can’t face the truth that you are eating an animal, you probably shouldn’t be eating meat.”

    Hmmm. Some might say that’s a bit harsh, but still…doesn’t the animal deserve to be recognized?

    Oh oh, now I’m ranting…

  6. I think in this country we just find it too easy to ignore the ugly truth about where our food comes from. I just had the first of our goats slaughtered today. (up until now we’ve only had cattle butchered) It’s an “on the farm” slaughter, and it’s never easy,or pretty, no matter how well it goes. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to trying our own well-fed, well treated, non-medicated goat meat! I don’t know that I would want to do the job of my meat locker guys. Perhaps it’s easier if it’s not your own animal???

  7. Looking forward to the new book! Loved HBAF
    and it has been a primer for the spouse and I as
    we plan our country life in 4.5 years. He really wants
    animals (grass fed) so we can be as self-sufficient
    as possible. I’m still thinking. Your last post made
    me realize tomato seedlings in the tub is not
    so bad. Really enjoy the farm tales and glad
    another book is on its way.

  8. i loved “hit by a farm”, and i’m really excited about the new book!

    even though i am a vegetarian, i am still excited about the book because i believe eating meat is a personal choice that is an individual’s to make, and i do not judge meat eaters. but if people want to eat meat, i’d prefer they get it from local farms, that treat their animals humanely and practice sustainable farming. and it sounds like your book will make that case! yay! i hope it makes a difference in how people view what they put on their table.

  9. It looks like a good book. Mayhaps I should get my friend, the one who works for a brick-and-mortar-big-name-conglomerate-bookseller-in-the-mall, to order a copy for me.

    And mayhaps I should read the copy of HBAF that I have on my headboard shelf. I bought it! I’m looking forward to reading it! I just keep busy with other things. *le sigh*

    We frequently use words like “mayhaps” around our humble abode. Words like that make language so much fun, methinks.

  10. Java,

    Mayhaps you should get your friend to order LOTS of copies for his/her store!

    As for *le sigh*, I’m stealing that. It’s adorable.

    And yes, get reading!

  11. The Compassionate Carnivore is wonderful. It keeps me up late, late, late reading, and I’ll be finished soon. I ordered three of your books all at once when I said I would, and now I need to root around to find MHIFOC for an autograph on it too. When Ian and I visited you on your farm way back when I was too shy to ask for an autograph. Not anymore. I hope to see you sometime at one of your events! Take care,
    Holly

  12. guilty as charged! I love meat but dont like to think where it comes from. I keep my own chickens but couldnt eat them despite eating shop bought chicken several times a week. I like your idea of drawing on an animal which bits are which as I often look at animals and cant figure out which bits we eat!

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