Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time by Georgia Pellegrini was the September Kitchen Reader selection and was chosen by me.
The concept of this book is fascinating: is it “truly possible today to live off the best your hands can produce. Is it possible to eat only the meat that you kill? And is that kind of kill more humane than the rest of it?” Based on this description, I hoped that Girl Hunter would be the more meat-focused counterpart to one of my favorite books, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Every time I read even a portion of Kingsolver’s book, I come away inspired to plant something new in the Savvy Garden, to freeze some more vegetables for winter or to visit the co-op for new local ingredients. Would Girl Hunter inspire me to learn to hunt, or at least to get a little closer to where our meat comes from?
I eagerly followed along as Pellegrini moved across the country (and occasionally across the ocean) hunting turkey, then dove, then javelina and so on. I shared her unease about her elk hunt host, and cheered when she finally got her wished-for chukar. But each chapter read more as its own installment or story, rather than a part of a larger whole, making it difficult for me to parse whether or not it is actually possible to live off only what you can produce and hunt yourself. For the premise stated in the introduction to the book, I would have rather seen Pellegrini settle in a single location and try to eat only the meat that she hunted herself. Would she find enough variety to keep herself from getting tired of her meal choices? There was mention of using all the edible parts of the animals, but how would she do it?
Despite the incongruity between the goal and the actual content of the book, this memoir was well-written, just like Georgia’s blog, of which I am a regular reader. The recipes look interesting and diverse, and offer suggestions of other meat that could be substituted for the non-hunting readers who may not have access to wild game.
Overall, I give this memoir 3 stars out of 5.
More of my book reviews can be found here.