I mostly read this because I am interested in the possibility of keeping bees and also because I'm kind of a sucker for coming-of-age books. The bookI mostly read this because I am interested in the possibility of keeping bees and also because I'm kind of a sucker for coming-of-age books. The book kept my attention and I devoured it in about a week, but that's mostly because it's written to be a summer read kind of book. I think I was hoping it would get better or at least have some kind of twist ending or something. The characters were likeable enough, except of course for the "mean" father. But mostly this was a simple book with simple prose and shallow characters. It could have been much more than it was....more
Well-researched and well-written, this book makes a good case for why not to be a vegetarian. These reasons include both harm to the self and harm toWell-researched and well-written, this book makes a good case for why not to be a vegetarian. These reasons include both harm to the self and harm to the planet. Keith writes from the standpoint of a former vegetarian whose body was ravaged by the effects of a 20-year vegetarian diet. This came from neglecting her body of essential nutrients by cutting out protein and fat from her diet. In the meantime, tofu, the ubiquitous protein source vegetarians use to replace the protein that would otherwise come from meat is actually harmful to the body and the mind. In her argument she also highlights how a vegetarian diet (and dieting in general) perpetuates and glorifies male dominance and misogyny by convincing women to do harm to their body in order to fit some kind of unnatural ideal. Her most intriguing case though is about how the vegetarian diet harms the Earth by disrupting the otherwise natural order of the food chain. For half a century, the pro-vegetarians have worked to convince the rest of the world that the planet and all its living creatures would be better off by cutting out meat from its diet. But Keith lays the case for why this argument is illogical and indeed more harmful for the health of the planet. She simply states that we need to come to terms with the fact that there is a natural food order, which includes both life and death and that the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can restore health to the environment and all living creatures living on it. The biggest culprits in destroying the Earth are the industrial agricultural feedlots that have created an unnatural, unhealthy and unconscionable system for processing meat. She gives vegetarians credit for their political stance against them but warns them that they are approaching the issue from the wrong perspective. The goal, she states, should ultimately be to dismantle the global food trade and restore local agriculture systems, which, yes, includes meat.
My husband, a vegetarian of 10+ years, read this book and immediately changed his diet to cut out soy-based products and include meat. It concerned me greatly that one book could change a person's mind so convincingly, so I read the book for myself and now I understand. I'm not a vegetarian, but I still think it's a good idea to do some more research before preaching the pro-meat gospel, so I'm following up with Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and so far, the two arguments are complementary. I look forward to finding out more about what we can do to restore health to our planet and our bodies and I thank Lierre Keith for pointing me in the right direction....more
Very disappointing. I was really looking forward to reading this since I really liked the stories in Personal Velocity. The description sounded so proVery disappointing. I was really looking forward to reading this since I really liked the stories in Personal Velocity. The description sounded so promising, but the story left so much to be desired. The characters were flat--especially the main character. And the story was incredibly shallow and predictable--downright cringeworthy at times. ...more