Susan Bourette is a compassionate omnivore married to a 30-year vegetarian. In her new book, Meat: A Love Story Bourette serves up an untraditional romance. It’s a journalist’s account of how she rediscovered a conscientious love for meat after gutting and packing animals during an undercover factory investigation.
Bourette had delved into vegetarianism for the same reasons many others have—idealistic, thrifty college days, proving to mom life can be complete without pot roasts, the healthy and glowing vegetarian friend, the vegetarian spouse, nausea-inducing images of factory farms—but she always came back to meat because of its wonderful flavor and invigorating qualities. So, in an effort to appease her conscience and love for meat, Bourette tours through ranches across the country, Canadian moose-hunts, whale-hunts with Inuits and the butcheries of Toronto and Greenwich Village in search of conscientious meat-eating. She does so successfully while creating space for other omnivores to cultivate conscientious diets as well.
So I almost walked into Sex and the City this weekend—a fine choice for couples long attached to the sexapades of those Vogue-licious vixens. But as a girl who’s always gagged on the cheesy life lessons Carrie types on her laptop, I had to do an about-face from the theater and ended up renting a recently released movie on the opposite end of the materialistic spectrum: Darfur Now.
The movie pinches our world that never wants another Holocaust by saying, "Hey, it’s happening again—what are you doing about it?" As you see how people across the world are answering that question for themselves, you learn about everyday people like Adam Sterling, a California university student who grew a grass roots campaign for a statewide divestment from Sudan and even got California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign it into law. Instead of dreaming about unaffordable Jimmy Choos, both of you will probably feel better about your first step—regardless of your footwear—toward newfound knowledge of this modern crisis.
No, this isn’t the album you’ll be blasting at summer pool parties while slicing limes for Coronas. You’ll want to savor the harmonic vocals and instrumentals of this South by Southwest festival hit band during a leisurely afternoon of sunbathing or road-tripping with your arm inevitably dancing outside in the wind to it. That’s because every song on the Seattle-based band’s debut album summons an eclectic mix of instruments (tin pans, fiddle, piano, shakers, mandolin) and musical styles (folk, something their website calls "baroque" pop, gospel) that make for a relaxing vibe you and yours can have a beautiful time vegging out to.
"English House," "White Winter Hymnal" and "Sun It Rises" were the songs responsible for initially hooking me into listening to the rest of this romantic album. Sample these songs and others on their MySpace page.