It’s either a case of wearing the same dress to a party or a brilliant—if accidental—marketing ploy, but the two new meat books out this spring are The Shameless Carnivore and The Compassionate Carnivore. Pick your poison, I guess.

The Shameless Carnivore is Scott Gold’s meat-eating manifesto. Apparently meat-eaters are being repressed by hordes of politically correct vegetarians and need a prophet to lead them to the land of bacon and beef. The Compassionate Carnivore is by Catherine Friend, a meat-raising and meat-eating farmer who looks at how we can navigate the ethical issues of eating meat in a world of factory farms.

The two covers say it all: cows nuzzling each other on the jacket of The Compassionate Carnivore; three slices of grilled-rare beef on a two-pronged barbecue skewer on The Shameless Carnivore. After years of not wanting to really think about where our burgers were coming from, now we can’t seem to avoid it. This may be the year of the carnivore’s dilemma.

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