Killing It
A wayward young woman abandons her magazine career to learn the old ways of butchery and discover what it means to take life into her own handsCamas Davis was at an unhappy crossroads. A longtime magazine writer and editor in the food world, she'd returned to her home state of Oregon with her boyfriend from New York City to take an appealing job at a Portland lifestyle magazine. But neither job nor boyfriend delivered on her dreams, and in the span of a year, Davis was unemployed, on her own, with nothing to fall back on. Disillusioned by the years she'd spent mediating the lives of others for a living, she had no idea what to do next. She did know one thing: She no longer wanted to write about the real thing; she wanted to be the real thing.So when a friend told her about Kate Hill, an American woman living in Gascony, France who ran a cooking school and took in strays in exchange for painting fences and making beds, it sounded like just what she needed. She discovered a forgotten credit card that had just enough credit on it to buy a plane ticket and took it as kismet. Upon her arrival, Kate introduced her to the Chapolard brothers, a family of Gascon pig farmers and butchers, who were willing to take Camas under their wing, inviting her to work alongside them in their slaughterhouse and cutting room. In the process, the Chapolards inducted her into their way of life, which prizes pleasure, compassion, community, and authenticity above all else.So begins Camas Davis's funny, heartfelt, searching memoir of her unexpected journey to become a successful and enlightened butcher. It's a story that takes her from an eye-opening stint in rural France where deep artisanal craft and whole animal gastronomy thrives despite the rise of mass scale agribusiness, back to a Portland in the throes of a food revolution, where it suddenly seems possible to translate much of this old-world craft into a new world setting. Camas faces hardships and heartaches along the way, but in the end, Killing It is about what it means to pursue the real thing and to dedicate your life to it.

Killing It Details

TitleKilling It
Author
ReleaseJul 24th, 2018
PublisherPenguin Press
ISBN-139781101980071
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Food and Drink, Food, Nonfiction, Foodie, Biography Memoir, Animals

Killing It Review

  • Hayli
    January 1, 1970
    '"I also believe if every slaughterhouse and farm and butcher shop were made of glass, we'd have a very different system of meat production.'"3 stars. This book was ok, nothing wrong or problematic, but not something I would normally read.I loved the parts of the book that were set in Gascony. Learning about the whole culture of slaughtering and eating meat in France was so fascinating. This book makes me want to travel to France to experience exactly what the writer did. I thought the inclusion '"I also believe if every slaughterhouse and farm and butcher shop were made of glass, we'd have a very different system of meat production.'"3 stars. This book was ok, nothing wrong or problematic, but not something I would normally read.I loved the parts of the book that were set in Gascony. Learning about the whole culture of slaughtering and eating meat in France was so fascinating. This book makes me want to travel to France to experience exactly what the writer did. I thought the inclusion of some of the discussions raised around feminism and eating meat were also interesting. I don't think I understood the argument entirely, but that was not what the focus of the book was at all. I loved how Davis writes about her frustrations with being a woman in this industry and how she was such a spectacle for being not just a female butcher, but a pretty, female butcher. And the perceptions and images of butchery in America versus what she experienced in France.After she came back from her trip to Gascony was where I lost my interest. I read Eating Animals earlier this year which absolutely astounded me with how insightful it was about the meat industry in America and I did not get the same feeling from this book at all. Mainly because this is not a book about the horrors of the meat industry but more the choices people can make to try source and eat meat more ethically.
    more
  • Amy Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss for my review copy of this book. Camas Davis is a magazine writer who just got fired from her job, left her long time boyfriend and then moved in with a new boyfriend who she immediately tells she is going to France to learn to be a butcher. Sounds crazy right? I thought so until I read her story. This book was incredibly fascinating and made me really think about where my food comes from and where I want it to come from in the future. Camas's entire journey into the world of Thank you Edelweiss for my review copy of this book. Camas Davis is a magazine writer who just got fired from her job, left her long time boyfriend and then moved in with a new boyfriend who she immediately tells she is going to France to learn to be a butcher. Sounds crazy right? I thought so until I read her story. This book was incredibly fascinating and made me really think about where my food comes from and where I want it to come from in the future. Camas's entire journey into the world of butchering was so enlightening and I was capitvated throughout the whole story. This book made me think about so many things on so many levels. Everyone should definitely read it!
    more
  • Andrienne
    January 1, 1970
    I was both aghast and tantalized with how the author pulled off describing her experience in butchery and sharing her views about meat processing and meat consumption. This book transformed me - I’m still a meat eater but it has made me curious about the meat handling process and it has made me care about where my food comes from. Review copy provided by the publisher.
    more
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    EAT, PRAY, LOVE, only this time 1) in France 2) with meat, and (3) an extra helping of self-absorption.
  • Mollie
    January 1, 1970
    Formidable! What an awesome read! Fascinating and sincere, Camas Davis will make you question where our meat comes from and, at the same time, make you want to learn how to butcher a pigs head and make pate de tete. Read this book as soon as you can get your hands on it. You will not be disappointed.
    more
  • Jay bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    I am sending a huge thank you to the publisher, Penguin, as well as Goodreads for offering this giveaway. This book absolutely blew me away. The author lost her job, had a dream and eventually made it happen. Her dream? To become a butcher. Luckily, her previous job gave her a network to be able to explore the world of whole animal butchering and the people that she meets along the way teach her many things. The writing is amazing, poetic, romantic (yes, the way she talks about food and animals I am sending a huge thank you to the publisher, Penguin, as well as Goodreads for offering this giveaway. This book absolutely blew me away. The author lost her job, had a dream and eventually made it happen. Her dream? To become a butcher. Luckily, her previous job gave her a network to be able to explore the world of whole animal butchering and the people that she meets along the way teach her many things. The writing is amazing, poetic, romantic (yes, the way she talks about food and animals and her journey among farmers and foodies is totally romantic) and entrancing. I could not put this book down. When she was reflective, self-doubting and uncertain, so was I. This book made me want to quit my job and explore a whole other world, but I think I would chase cheese and wine. Don’t get me wrong, I have a whole list of new charcuterie to try, but not a dream to be a lady poet butcher. Great job Camas!!!
    more
  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Talk about taking a sideways turn in your life! Davis actually did what a lot of us might occasionally think about- take off for France. I have to admit being a butcher is not high on my personal list of life goals but more power to her for doing it. This is a well written memoir that should not be dismissed as an "eat, pray, love" competitor. Davis has a lot to say about the culture of meat (I know!), feminism, how women are treated in what remains a male dominated area, and herself. Some of th Talk about taking a sideways turn in your life! Davis actually did what a lot of us might occasionally think about- take off for France. I have to admit being a butcher is not high on my personal list of life goals but more power to her for doing it. This is a well written memoir that should not be dismissed as an "eat, pray, love" competitor. Davis has a lot to say about the culture of meat (I know!), feminism, how women are treated in what remains a male dominated area, and herself. Some of the self examination and some of the details of butchery might be a bit much but that's what the memoir is about. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This is informative and entertaining.
    more
  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book! Being an animal science major I’ve taken a meat class and we had to observe and help with a pig, cow, and lamb slaughter. The details in the book are spot on and true. It reminded me to respect where our food comes from and that it can be humanely done!
    more
  • Jennifer E Volem
    January 1, 1970
    A thoughtful consideration of the carnivorous diet approached by a curious mind, "Killing It" takes the reader along on the author's unexpected journey with honesty and wit.
  • Kathy (Bermudaonion)
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 stars
  • Tahni
    January 1, 1970
    I am one of the American vegetarians Camas describes, who would never touch head cheese. I couldn't stomach this fantastically written book. Highly recommend for non-herbivores.
Write a review