Get Your Carnivore PhD

The Best Books, Movies and Podcasts for Meat Eaters

March 9, 2016 Home : Eats By

The problem is that it’s too easy. As you read this, chances are there is meat waiting for you somewhere, probably in walking distance, divvied into pretty jeweled cubes, gleaming through the stretch of saran wrap.

For many of us the purchase and consumption of meat is practically a passive act, auto-piloted along with laundry and rent payment. “One of the most striking things about life is that we eat meat without giving it a thought,” says food guru Michael Pollan in his Big Think video on meat eating. “We don’t give a thought to the animal. We don’t give a thought to the people who raised it or hunted it. That carelessness now infects the way we raise the meat.”

If you’re like me, you’re a meat eater (and you probably won’t stop being one) but you want to assuage that internal itch that tells you something isn’t quite right with the factory farming prevalent in the meat industry. Maybe you’ve even attempted a Google session only to be met by a combination of bold-font activism or sponsored sing-song from the corporate meat makers themselves. There are many steps in between animal and plate, some more palatable than others. Here’s a list of resources to help familiarize yourself with a few of them.

The Resources

ATK-Gear-Patrol America’s Test Kitchen Radio: “The Ethical Meat Eater”
Hosted by: Chris Kimball

America’s Test Kitchen is known for narrowing down the most essential cooking recipes, methodologies and devices and distributing the results to their various platforms (books, magazines, television, podcasts, etc.) This episode of the ATK podcast sandwiches a conversation with nonprofit founder and meat ethicist Patrick Martins between a cooking Q&A and a beef chili how-to. Among other topics, Martins touches upon “hipster gastronomy” and the realities of industrial agriculture in the US compared to alternative animal husbandry methods abroad as part of his “Heritage Foods” movement. Learn More

Meat-Without-Misery-Gear-Patrol Waking Up with Sam Harris: “Meat Without Misery”
Hosted by: Sam Harris

What if someday the quest to track down where our meat comes from leads us to a science lab? In this podcast, Sam Harris — philosopher, neuroscientist and atheist extraordinaire — chats with Uma Valeti, cardiologist and CEO of the Memphis Meats startup, which wants to bring molecularly “synthesized meat” to the world. It’s all about the stakes behind test-tube steaks. Learn More

Harpers-Meat-Gear-Patrol “The Way of All Flesh”
Written by: Ted Conover

Ted Conover is a journalist who truly lives his reporting. In the case of this Harper’s piece, Conover investigates US industrial slaughterhouses by getting a job at one. As a USDA meat inspector (and undercover journalist) at Cargill Meat Solutions in Schuyler, Nebraska, Conover reports the stories of the slaughterhouse’s unseen realities — and yes, he makes it out a meat eater. Learn More

Carnivores-Manifesto-Gear-Patrol- The Carnivore’s Manifesto
Written by: Patrick Martins

Patrick Martins is the founder of both Slow Food USA and Heritage Food USA, organizations bent on supporting and distributing local and holistic alternatives to the industrial food market. His text, The Carnivore’s Manifesto, is a collection of 50 short, practical and actionable essays attempting to distill what it means to eat meat responsibly. Essay titles include: “Healthy Animals Don’t Need Medicine,” “You Can’t Avoid Processed Food” and “Slow Down.” Some of the Martin’s topics are as vast as working towards sustainable farming methods, while others are as accessible as getting to know your butcher or eating more ground meat. $17

SRP-Gear-Patrol Scott Rea Project: Butchery and Cookery Channel
Hosted by: Scott Rea

Just as it is important to know the experience of the animal, it is also important to know the experience of the man or woman behind your meat. After spending 28 years as a butcher, Scott Rea started filming his skills in his shed with the intention of sharing them with those who were interested. Now over 17 million views strong, Rea’s Youtube channel is a standout in the Youtube DIY community. Featuring half-hour how-to’s on butchering full sheep, deer and cow, as well as separate videos offering recipes with which to cook them, Rea’s channel is an ideal visual translation of the manual breakdown of meat into food and an effort to bring the masses into informed butchery. Learn More

American-Meat-Gear-Patorl American Meat
Directed by: Graham Meriwether

If you are looking for a documentary about the U.S. industrial food system that is as exhaustive as it is damning, you’ll likely be ushered towards Food Inc. But American Meat, a more recent documentary, offers a an approach to documenting industrial animal husbandry in an uncommonly optimistic fashion. $10