Dietary fundamentalism impairs sight and hearing

June 10, 2013

Conversations about diet raise important questions concerning the ethics and ecology of food. Too often, though, these conversations get short-circuited by the certainty and intolerance characteristic of fundamentalism. One symptom of fundamentalism is tunnel vision: seeing only what we want to see. Certain that a meat-and-potatoes diet is the American way to eat, some people […]

46 comments Read the post →

Of the Earth: Eating and being

April 22, 2013

Here in north-central Vermont, the earth is just beginning to thaw. By May, though, my wife Catherine and I will be planting tiny seeds in the circular bed at the center of our garden. A few weeks later, we will kneel there with scissors, snipping lettuce—oak leaf, red sails, blushed butter, merlot, and troutback—into a […]

23 comments Read the post →

Hunting: The encyclopedia entry

March 17, 2013

Suppose you knew someone who was asked to write an encyclopedia entry. The topic: hunting in the United States today. The encyclopedia: a new three-volume, million-word tome on Food Issues. The goal: to give readers—mainly high school and college students—an overview of issues, controversies, and fascinating things about hunting the range of perspectives on hunting […]

15 comments Read the post →

You never know

January 9, 2013

I once knew a man who had a small horizontal sign above his front door frame, up against the ceiling. If you looked up, you saw it just before you stepped outside: “You never know.” The more time I spend in the woods, the more sense the motto makes. Four years in a row, I […]

47 comments Read the post →

The not-so-clean kill: Intent gone wrong

October 9, 2012

This summer, an aspiring hunter sent me an e-mail. Had I, he asked, ever wounded an animal but failed to kill and recover it? If so, how did I deal with that? He was contemplating taking to the field for the first time, and didn’t know how he would handle such an experience. Yet he […]

61 comments Read the post →

The world of hunting: Diversity in plain sight

August 12, 2012

Every once in a while, a non-hunter asks me, “What’s the hunter’s perspective on such-and-such?” The question puzzles me. Hunters, after all, have a wide range of interests, motivations, and backgrounds. Some hunt deer, some hunt rabbits, some hunt waterfowl, some hunt upland birds, and some hunt all of these and more. Some hunt a […]

66 comments Read the post →

Huntophobia: A reader rethinks anti-hunter prejudice

June 4, 2012

You never know how a conversation will reverberate, or what shape its echoes will take if they return to you. Late one night this spring, a reader sent me an email. A few hours earlier, she had been at one of my book discussions. In her email, she explained that she had grown up with […]

28 comments Read the post →