Steven Rinella’s latest book, Meat Eater – Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter, is not a collection of words to be read, but a journey waiting to be experienced. In the book Rinella recounts much of his hunting, trapping, and fishing history – from his earliest days wondering afield with his brothers in Michigan, to his recent expeditions chasing big game in some of the most remote and dangerous places in North America.
Steven Rinella is an excellent story teller. I was easily drawn in as I followed Rinella through 10 tales of adventurous hunts. His stories about childhood reminded me of the times that I spent exploring the country with my brother and Grandpa, and as Rinella recounts his big game hunts in the West and in Alaska, I couldn’t help but be sparked with an even deeper desire to get out and explore the glorious places that this continent has to offer.
But this isn’t just an inspiring and courageous page turner. In fact, you’ll find yourself at times stopping mid-adventure, mid-page, and thinking about the weight of truth that Steven has a way of so eloquently slipping in among the story. I think that is what draws me to Steven’s writing so much – he has a way of seamlessly unpacking a deep insight in unexpected places.
If this book were simply about Rinella retelling his hunts, it would be good. Rinella’s personal history is that interesting, and his writing is that enjoyable. But Meat Eater is so much more! Rinella dives deeper, to the story behind the story, the meaning beneath the hunt. I was challenged as I digested the sometimes weighty ideas that Rinella presents the reader. This work encouraged me to continue to think deeply about why I hunt, the responsibility that I have as a human predator, the future of hunting and conservation, and the connection that I have to the land, and to the food that I consume.
Steven Rinella’s television shows – formerly The Wild Within on Travel Channel, and currently Meat Eater of The Sportsman Channel – have brought a refreshing perspective to an otherwise stale and monotonous outdoor television market. These shows have put Rinella in front of a diverse audience that includes hunters and non-hunters, culinary connoisseurs and gastronomic laymen. Many have tuned in as Steven tells the tale of adventure, hunting, conservation, and the consumption of wild game. I sincerely hope that those who have enjoyed Steven’s on-screen presence will take the opportunity to dig into this book.
Rinella’s work is humble and stimulating. He isn’t out to convert anyone to a philosophy or ideal, but I think we all deserve to wrestle through the questions that this book will no doubt raise within us. If nothing else, you’ll be inspired to embrace your place among the historical tradition of those that have procured and lived off of wild game for countless generations.