Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag: A Memoir by Michael Anthony (Illustrated by Chai Simone Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are y own.

Author Michael Anthony takes readers on a journey of love and veganism as he searches for a way to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend as she dives further and further into “The Cause” in the graphic novel “Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag: A Memoir”.

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The Synopsis 

A rough-and-tumble Iraq War veteran is young and in love, and the last thing on his mind is food and the ethics of eating meat. But when his girlfriend becomes a vegetarian and animal rights activist, suddenly food is all he thinks about.

A true story of how love and vegetarianism can triumph over all else. Love, heartache, and the rest of the ingredients that make a reader laugh, smile, and stop-and-think, are all found in this enthralling graphic memoir. Amidst the stories of love and frustration, there are treatises on food, vegetarianism, and the ethics of the animal rights movement (some of it juxtaposed against Michael’s graphic wartime experiences). Told with Michael’s sardonic perspective and the delightful artwork of debut graphic novelist Chai Simone, this is a journey of true love gone temporarily astray.

The Review

This was such a unique and interesting read. The author did an incredible job of conveying real information and knowledge about the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle and how it can impact relationships while also infusing humor and wit into the narrative. The natural tone and atmosphere the author infuses into the story were great to see come to life. Typically in a memoir, the author has to work to infuse imagery into their stories, but the amazing artwork of Chai Simone did a great job of providing the warmth and depth this narrative held. 

Aside from the excellent utilization of the graphic novel format, what stood out to me was the deep emotional impact that this narrative had as well. The honesty and charm the author infused into the backstories of both himself and his girlfriend and the hardships they each had to overcome that led to their outlook on life (and subsequently the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle as a whole) was so profoundly moving and made the memoir feel more relatable and connected for many readers.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, gripping, and engaging, author Michael Anthony’s “Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag: A Memoir” is a must-read graphic novel meets nonfiction memoir of 2022. One of the top memoirs of the year, the author does an incredible job of finding his voice and infusing humor and emotion so seamlessly into the story of his relationship with both his girlfriend and his lifestyle as a whole and made this one book I didn’t want to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Michael Anthonyis the author of the graphic memoir Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag: A Memoir,and the award-winning and acclaimed memoirs: Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir,and Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq.

Michael’s writing has been called “strong … and starkly honest…”-Publisher’s Weekly, “Dark Humored,” –Kirkus, “smart and mordantly funny,” –Milwaukee Journal, and “gut punching…”–Mary Roach. He has appeared in several anthologies, and has written for The Washington Post, Business Insider, Signature-Reads, and The Good Men Project, where he served for a year as chief editor of the War & Veterans section.

He has been featured in several documentaries regarding military service, philosophy, and comedy, and he has worked as a military consultant for award-winning theater and art installations.

A graduate of Bridgewater State University, Michael also holds an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. A former US army soldier, he currently lives with his wife in Massachusetts and spends his free time working with veterans.

Michael can be reached through his website: MichaelAnthonyAuthor.com

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