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  • perpetuallyphil 1:44 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , lierre Keith, , vegetarianism   

    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.”

    —–

    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

     
    • firstreason 2:22 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink

      Let me make this clear first of all, I have not read this book. that being said, it sounds like the author is assuming that being vegetarian or vegan is soley an attempt to boycott meat because of the cruel ways that it is acquired. I would like to point out that while that may be a reason for some, I would venture to say that most don’t eat meat because they don’t like to kill something and consume it carcass. Yes, there are better ways to farm meat, but I dont think that that is necessarily the problem, my problem has mostly been the killing part, the horrible living part was in second place.

    • perpetuallyphil 3:46 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink

      I totally agree firstreason,
      I am uneasy with deciding that something should live or die, no matter how good or bad their life was preceding my decision to kill them and eat their flesh.
      The thing is that death is a natural part of life. Plants, animals, microbes, fungi and the like must die to nourish others. Not to get all circle of life, but really, that is what happens. To pretend that its not the case is to not understand how food webs work.
      Next argument is to say that we don’t need to participate in the food web, because we understand it and can make the conscious decision to not kill other species for food. We can take a vegan stand and get all of our protein, vitamins and energy from plants. The problem with this line of thinking is that it forgets that plants need nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to grow. NPK. There is no way to get those things without using decayed animal parts or chemical fertilizers that come from the petrol industry or that require extensive mining (which kills thousands of animals and disrupts whole food systems). Also, agriculture requires riding plants of “pests,” and even “vegan” growers who use neem oil, end up disturbing the cycles of insects that kills them, makes them sterile and rids the plant of fungus. Not to mention the fact the agriculture kills thousands of microbes as well. So at some point, we are deciding to kill, most of us just decide that its not ok to kill things with a face, directly… its a slippery slope for sure, and is why i love know where and why people draw lines. If we need to kill to live (which is how the rest of the plant and animal kingdom works) should we try to avoid it all together (which is seemingly impossible), or try to make it humane, reasonable and spiritually ritualistic?

      I have not read the whole book myself yet, but it has sparked me to research more and more. The more arguments i come up with to support my vegetarian diet, the more reasons i find that its not as simple as that.

      One last thought. We have co-evolved with the plants we eat and the animals that we domesticated. They are totally different now than when we first started living with them, as are we. Did we change them, or did they change us? Evolutionarily speaking, is wheat more successful or are humans?

    • perpetuallyphil 4:30 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink

      here is a good review of the book:
      http://www.pressaction.com/news/weblog/full_article/vegetarianmyth05032009/

      “Currently, 40% of Americans are killed by coronary heart disease. The rate of coronary heart disease has increased at the same time that the proportion of animal fats consumed by people in the United States dropped from 83% to 62% and the consumption of vegetable oils has increased by 400%. “

    • thedarkcleft 5:04 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink

      That stat is not really saying a whole lot. If one year the amount of coronary disease dropped, good. Maybe it is because there have been changing their diets because there are so many people having heart attacks. People may be waking up. It doesn’t mean that the rest of the people, or even the people who have switched, won’t die next year from all the animal fats and the like eaten in the past.

      Also, there are a number of other things that lead to coronary problems, such as all of the trans-fats in margarine, as opposed to butter. MSG, HFCS, they all play their parts.

      Kinda tangental, sorry.

    • oneshowatatime 6:54 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink

      Michael Pollan pretty well summed up my view on diet in a recent Time Magazine interview:

      “Can you tell us what your current diet is? If it is not vegetarian, why not?”

      Scott Yanoff, MILWAUKEE

      “I still eat meat. But I eat a lot less. I have enormous respect for vegetarians, but I believe there are ways to eat meat that are good for you and good for the environment.”

      Rest of the interview: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1955590,00.html

      I believe that we evolved to maximize our efficiency and role in the ecosystem as omnivores, but I totally agree that the industrial food system is fucked and that we should also strive to eat less meat and eat lower on the food chain in general.

      Just my 2 cents, I’m tired… good night.

  • thedarkcleft 11:11 pm on August 17, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: PETA, , vegetarianism   

    Save the whales 

     
    • cherokeebydesign 1:57 am on August 18, 2009 Permalink

      “In 2006, PETA killed 2,981 dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, and other animals. This is 97% of the animals left in their care, according to PETAs own records they supplied to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (2006). For comparison, the Virginia Society for the Protection of Animals (which operates in Norfolk, Virginia, as does PETA) euthanized less than 2.5% of the 1,404 animals placed with them in 2006. While PETA collects tens of millions in donations by claiming to advocate for the welfare of animals, the group has actually killed 17,400 pets since 1998.

      PETA’s “Animal Record” report for 2008, filed with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, shows that the animal rights group killed 95 percent of the dogs and cats in its care last year. During all of 2008, PETA accepted 2,216 pets. Of the 2,216 animals, PETA found adoptive homes for just seven pets. This brings the total animals killed by PETA from July 1998 to December 2008 up to over 21,000.”

      Raven
      http://cherokeebydesign.wordpress.com/

  • absolutelylovely 2:24 am on December 1, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: gm foods, , tofu, unfermented soy products, vegetarianism   

    Hey all you soy-eaters out there: read this please 

    Taka and I were talking about this and couldn’t remember the facts, so i looked it up and have found this article to be helpful in explaining. This is from naturalnews.com

    this site seems pretty sweet, explore other articles if you’re feeling adventurous. there’s lots of good info to check out.

    🙂

    tofu = not so good for you

    tofu = not so good for you

     
    • homad 3:09 am on December 1, 2008 Permalink

      I’m allergic 😦 Only found out about two months ago when using soy milk in cereal

    • tallbridge 11:13 pm on December 5, 2008 Permalink

      hey as far as I could tell torrey its tofu that’s ok since its fermented and contains probiotics…this is why in asia it has proved to be a good part of the diet

      its our veggie exploited whatever you wanna call it food supply that is scary…and especially when its GMO considering that when tested on rats it increased mortality five fold and made many sterile

    • absolutelylovely 3:22 am on December 6, 2008 Permalink

      i don’t know, it seems as though all of the articles i’ve been reading say tofu is not fermented. it’s just soy milk coagulated and formed into cubes.

    • perpetuallyphil 8:38 am on December 6, 2008 Permalink

      tots torrey thats what i have found too. tempeh is fermented and tofu is no… soy beans = good, tofu not so much.

    • sarazona 2:55 am on December 7, 2008 Permalink

      soy milk = bad

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