cover image Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag: A Memoir

Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag: A Memoir

Michael Anthony and Chai Simone. Street Noise, $18.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-951491-19-2

“Love is the absolute worst,” writes stand-up comic Anthony (Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir) in the opening pages of his wisecracking memoir about trying something only love could convince him to consider: vegetarianism. His girlfriend, Coconut, an empathetic nurse who “will draw pictures of people’s auras” becomes a militant animal rights activist, to the dismay of Anthony, an at-first unrepentant carnivore whose experiences working in a field hospital in Iraq leave him desensitized to gruesome slaughterhouse videos. “It’s hard being with someone who thinks you’re a murderer,” Anthony admits. Inspired by the questionable pickup artists he once followed, he crafts a plan: pretend to convert to vegetarianism and destroy Coconut’s anti-meat arguments from the inside, a mission he dubs Operation Tofu Horse. Amid friends’ skepticism, guerilla animal rights activism, revelations about body image issues, and education about living a meat-free life, the couple’s desire for mutual understanding gradually wins out over their rival conversion plans. Anthony’s cocky, chatty voice is complemented by Simone’s vibrantly colored drawings and keen eye for gesture and character detail. Whether or not this missive changes minds about meat-eating, it’s a winning argument for empathy, concluding that love can sometimes be the absolute best, too. Agent: Matthew Carnicelli, Carnecelli Literary Management. (Nov.)