The Vegetarian Myth

This is not a typical vegitrain slam of a book. It is a well researched and thought out dialogue about food soverignty, violence, industry, health and creating a better world. This book scared me at first, but after diving in more and learning more about the author Lierre Keith’s perspective, I have emerged to understand its importance. She was a vegan for 20 years and knows all of the arguments about why it was the right chioce for justice, but following more thurough research and asking tough questions, she has lots to say. Its clear that she does not advocate for factory farming, or cruelty, but rather understanding what our personal decisions really mean.

An excerpt:

“This was not an easy book to write. For many of you, it won’t be an easy book to read. I know. I was a vegan for almost twenty years. I know the reasons that compelled me to embrace an extreme diet and they are honorable, ennobling even. Reasons like justice, compassion, a desperate and all-encompassing longing to set the world right. To save the planet—the last trees bearing witness to ages, the scraps of wilderness still nurturing fading species, silent in their fur and feathers. To protect the vulnerable, the voiceless. To feed the hungry. At the very least to refrain from participating in the horror of factory farming.

     These political passions are born of a hunger so deep that it touches on the spiritual. Or they were for me, and they still are. I want my life to be a battle cry, a war zone, an arrow pointed and loosed into the heart of domination: patriarchy, imperialism, industrialization, every system of power and sadism. If the martial imagery alienates you, I can rephrase it. I want my life—my body—to be a place where the earth is cherished, not devoured; where the sadist is granted no quarter; where the violence stops. And I want eating—the first nurturance—to be an act that sustains instead of kills.

     This book is written to further those passions, that hunger. It is not an attempt to mock the concept of animal rights or to sneer at the people who want a gentler world. Instead, this book is an effort to honor our deepest longings for a just world. And those longings—for compassion, for sustainability, for an equitable distribution of resources—are not served by the philosophy or practice of vegetarianism. We have been led astray. The vegetarian Pied Pipers have the best of intentions. I’ll state right now what I’ll be repeating later: everything they say about factory farming is true. It is cruel, wasteful, and destructive. Nothing in this book is meant to excuse or promote the practices of industrial food production on any level.

     But the first mistake is in assuming that factory farming—a practice that is barely fifty years old—is the only way to raise animals. Their calculations on energy used, calories consumed, humans unfed, are all based on the notion that animals eat grain.”

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You can get the book on her website, amazon, or better yet: ask your local book store to carry it.

(btw, I ate some grass ged beef the other day, it felt good, yikes)

http://www.lierrekeith.com/work.htm