Anyone up for a little audience participation here? (And yes, I’m prepared to be completely mortified if no one responds.) I
just realized that the working title of my new book may not make any sense. The working title is Carnivore Nation: Meat and the Making of Modern America. (We hot-shit writers refer to the titles of works-in-progress as “working” titles.) (What? You didn’t know I was a hot-shit writer? What’s the matter with you?) (I’m kidding.)
It’s not perfect (the word “nation” as part of a book title is on the verge of becoming a limp cliche), but it’s not bad.
In fact, given the book’s theme and content, it’s a good description: I’m using the production, processing, and consumption of “meat” to examine the fundamental conflicts that Americans experienced as they shifted from an agrarian to an industrial economy, and from a rural nation to an urban one. It will cover the period from 1870 to the present, and will look at beef, pork, and poultry.
But today, it occurred to me that “meat” may not be the most appropriate word choice. So after my long-winded introduction (and if you’re a regular, you know I’m prone to windy), here’s my question:
What does the word “meat” mean to you? If you saw that title, would you assume the book was about beef? And only beef? Or would you assume or expect that the word “meat” includes the three major flesh categories: beef, pork, and poultry?
Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated. (As they always are!) And if you’ve got ideas for a new title, let’s hear ‘em.