Francine's Reviews > Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
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Jun 05, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended to Francine by: Jessica Runyon
Read in June, 2008 — I own a copy

In a world where going green is the way to go, I found this book both frightening and enlightening. First things first: I know myself well enough to know that while I applaud Barbara Kingsolver's family's attempt to live only on food they grew and raised, I know that I'm not going to do that. (I can't raise any animal without naming it, let alone killing it for food!) While I want to live healthily and as environmentally responsible as possible, it's not completely for me. I enjoyed her family's attempts at becoming locovores; I found some of their misadventures funny and heartwarming (but a bit too earnest at times). But I also found that this book, in the wrong hands, could be considered propaganda (and that's what I found frightening about it) - all the stats, all the little factoids, all the preachiness (especially about the financial and environmental costs associated with bringing food to our tables) - which made the book hard to swallow.

If Kingsolver (and her family) had only stuck to their own adventures and recipes, it would've been a really good read. I agree that eating unprocessed, all natural foods are better for you, that supporting the local farmer's markets do better for the environment and the community, and that living the locovore's life can be a great family bonding experience. But every time she and her husband got on their soapbox, every time they started to preach and proselytize...there were times when I just kind of zoned out.

I think her message is a fine one: we can all be responsible about what we eat, how we eat, where we get what we eat. But all the other more political stuff...I get enough of that on the news each day that when I read for fun, I don't want to feel guilty all over again.
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message 2: by Joy (new)

Joy At first when I saw this book I thought that it was a fiction book but then when I heard people talk about it, I realized that it was informational/persuasive/memoir-ish book. I must admit that the reason why I did not try and read this book was for a lot of reasons that you stated (it was preachy, repetitive things that we hear in the news, etc.) I do agree that "going green" is important (and was persuaded to do so mainly by you) and have been trying to conserve resources but I am afraid that I would not be tolerant enough to read this book.


Francine So, so very true! Sorry kiddo - I only saw your comment now. :( Anyway, you aren't making a bad decision; if this book had not been given to me as a gift, I would never have read it either.


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