Ellen Young's Reviews > The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith
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Oct 23, 2009

it was amazing

A 20-year vegan who started eating meat out of a desparate attempt to heal her constant and chronic health problems, the author had her eyes opened to both the damaging effects of a grain-based diet and the devastation agriculture has wreaded on the planet. And now she wants to let everyone know how she, and the vegetarians still practicing, got it all wrong. For one thing, she totally skewers the claims that eating a grain-based diet is better for the environment. The destruction of topsoil and entire ecosystems on behalf of wheat, barley, corn, etc. is a disaster on a par with global warming. I used to be vegetarian in my younger days, and I remember hearing that a huge amount of grain had to be fed to a cow to bring it to maturity, and that this was incredibly wasteful. This author points out that a cow is not supposed to be eating grain at all, since it's a ruminant who's natural diet is grass. And grass grows for free. But we don't let cattle freely graze because we need the land for agriculture, and since corn is so cheap to grow, it's given to the cattle instead of grass. Grass-fed beef doesn't present this problem of overconsumption. Also, the production of wheat, and therefore the bread on sale at the store, is highly dependent on fossil fuels because the topsoil is so depleted farmers use chemical fertilizers created by fossil fuels.

As for the health effects of a grain-based diet compared with a meat diet, she lays out the substanial evidence that meat is far superior. There's no contest. This is a good companion book to Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, which goes even further into the nutrition aspects of grains as opposed to meat. The author's heart is clearly in this book, as it was in her devotion to vegetarianism. It's really hard-hitting. She's on a mission to wake people up.
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02/11/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Claude (new)

Claude This book is pseudo-science. She has done no research, and knows nothing about nutrition. She even contradicts her own facts in the book.
If you check up her sources, you will find that they are mostly sources from fiction-writers, not science or nutrition experts. Where she does quote science papers they are often as old as 1930 and have proven to be either wrong, or not-valid as things have changed in the 82 years. There are numerous reviews of this book by nutrition experts, scientists and doctors (both vegetarian and not) who will tell you there is no science in this book.
Lierre is another Hitler. I fucking hate her.

Daniel Høward Great review. I used to be vegan and had similar problems to Lierre Keith. I find it strange that the above commenter should show so much hated and hostility to the author and compares her to Hitler. Why? Because they're a butt-hurt vegan who can't accept an opposing viewpoint ad having their closed-minded ideology challenged? I'm glad I'm no longer vegan. Many I've met are so extremely ideological and emotional.

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