Discussion Notes for Our Book Club Selection, "The Compassionate Carnivore"

Author Catherine FriendAuthor Catherine FriendMany thanks to Jan Zita Grover from Mississipi Market Co-op for providing terrific discussion questions for this month's book club selection, The Compassionate Carnivore by Catherine Friend. Here are the questions, for those of you who are conducting your own book clubs this week and next:

  1. Friend observes that some people see the term the compassionate carnivore as an oxymoron—a phrase whose words contradict each other. How ethically coherent does the concept of a compassionate carnivore seem to you?
  2. Humor is a conspicuous part of Friend's voice in this book. What role does her humor play?
  3. What was the most difficult description for you in The Compassionate Carnivore and why?
  4. What, if anything, did you learn about how your food is raised that is likely to change how you choose the food you eat?
  5. Friend quotes Roger Scruton as saying "If meat-eating should ever become confined to those who do not care about animal suffering then compassionate farming would cease ... All animals would be kept in battery conditions ... Where there are conscientious carnivores, however, there is a motive to raise animals kindly." What do you think of his argument?