Episode 78: Tovar Cerulli

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Description: Tovar Cerulli, a vegan-turned-hunter, is author of The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance, which has earned praise from hunters, vegetarians, and ecologists alike. He serves as a unique bridge across diverse ways of thinking about human relationships with food, nature, and wildlife, and has led seminars for agencies, nonprofits, and universities across the country. As a consultant in the conservation field, he helps clients integrate conflicting ideas and values, gain insight into unfamiliar points of view, and expand and develop their thinking and perspectives. Tovar’s essays have been published in Outdoor America, High Country News, The Atlantic, Utne Reader, and Northern Woodlands, among others. He lives in Vermont with his wife Catherine and an eclectic mix of cookbooks.

Do you or friends have moral reservations about eating meat? What about the actual act of hunting? And how does this all factor into our relationship with the land we live off of? On today’s show, host Elle Russ talks with Tovar Cerulli about modern ecology, gardening, fishing, hunting, the morality of meat eating, and wildlife conservation. If you want the deeper, essential picture of how primal living affects our world, (beyond personal health benefits) you won’t want to miss this show.

Show Notes:

  • How did his spirituality transform him from vegetarianism to his current carnivore diet? [00:01:34]
  • His battle with the woodchucks changed how he gardened. [00:04:54]
  • Ecologically, there is no place in the world that is not a plant/animal system. [00:11:11]
  • After experiencing some health issues, he knew he had to change. How did he make that transition? [00:11:59]
  • Which was more palatable: flesh from a wild fish or milk from a domestic cow? [00:14:25]
  • How did he transition from fishing to learning how to hunt? [00:16:09]
  • Do we think about the human being as part of nature, or, more specifically, part of the food chain? We, too, can be prey. [00:20:08]
  • How so many vegans and vegetarians set themselves as above the predator/prey relationship. [00:23:55]
  • Why is fishing more socially acceptable than hunting? [00:25:49]
  • What about logging? How does that fit into this moral conundrum? [00:29:33]
  • How did he adjust to hunting and eating red meat? [00:32:33]
  • What kind of education does one need to really learn about hunting? What are the legal ramifications? [00:36:44]
  • Tovar describes how he was able to deal with skinning his first deer. [00:43:10]
  • Now, Tovar’s mission is being involved in environmental and wildlife conservation. He describes the problems we all need to deal with culturally, politically, and ecologically. [00:50:00]
  • What about the food movement that is popular these days? [00:54:06]

Selected Links from the Episode:
A Mindful Carnivore
Tovar Cerulli
Dalai Lama
On Being Prey

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