From my late adolescence until recently, I was an ambivalent vegetarian. My gastronomic relationship with the succulent flesh of cows, sheep and chickens was mostly one of respectful abstinence, except for once every ten years, when like a monk gone wild, I would shed my righteous reputation for no-meat celibacy, and I would go underground to eat from the shadowy flesh pots. I returned to the kosher cold cuts, hot dogs, and chicken wings, glancing nervously over my shoulder for fear of “getting caught”, as if anyone would really care. I would eat with primitive, furtive satisfaction, yet ultimately with not a whole lot of pleasure, before returning to my life of no-meat discipline. Like a school of fish swimming in and out of coral reefs, I also moved back and forth between eating and not eating those dwellers of the deep. I finally settled several years ago on remaining a confirmed pescavore, using a friend’s argument about the inherent stupidity of fish as my excuse.
Wild meat, hunted in a responsible way, is one of the most healthful, sustainable foods possible. Depending on how it is done, hunting can be as local, intimate, and humane as it gets. And aside from this, it demands the hunter enter a world of awareness, wildness, life, and death that as a culture we have forgotten.
The Compassionate Hunter’s Guidebook, by Miles Olson, is a guide for those that come to the act of hunting with pure intentions, motivated by a desire for healthy food that comes directly from the land where they live.
It’s Food Friday again! Today we’re talking about veggies and vegetarian cuisine. Nutritionist, chef and Culinary Institute of America professor Jennifer Stack is here with us, along with New World Bistro chef Ric Orlando.
Jeanne Lemlin is the award-winning author of five cookbooks, including Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, winner of a James Beard Award. A vegetarian since age 15 and a pioneering vegetarian cookbook author, she has written for numerous national magazines, including Yankee Magazine, Cooking Light, and Gourmet.