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Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life
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Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  23 reviews
With a world steeped in materialism, environmental destruction, and injustice, what can one individual possibly do to change it? While the present obstacles we face may seem overwhelming, author and humane educator Zoe Weil shows us that change doesn't have to start with an army. It starts with you. Through her straightforward approaches to living a MOGO, or "most good," l ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Atria Books/Beyond Words (first published 2009)
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Christine Nolfi
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for anyone wishing to live a cleaner, greener lifestyle.
Lisa Bonack
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read Most Good, Least Harm every couple years. It recharges my batteries, if you would. When I long to make the world a better place, it helps me to give myself credit for the things I am already doing, and makes it possible to organize where I want to go and how to get there. It's an easy read, full of real life stories. Best of all, it doesn't prescribe specific things that you must guides you on your journey to determine what's best for your life and your values. ...more
Audrey Elwood
It was very good. Must read for anyone worried about what they can do for climate change.
Todd Mayville
Sep 07, 2009 rated it liked it
My full review on Elephant Journal: ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
A book about how to make more conscious choices regarding food, products, work and more.
Bookish Jen
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
“If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” — William Penn

For the past few days, like a lot of people, I have felt a deep and profound grief over the senseless deaths of nine beautiful people who were committing the innocent act of attending bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Men and women were shot dead due to t
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
As someone with a MSci in Environmental Conservation who thinks about sustainability every day, this book didn't teach me a lot.

What it did do was get hella preachy about veganism (while ignoring the pretty terrible environmental impacts veganism has on the planet AND the fact that some people have health conditions that prohibit them from a vegan lifestyle). There are ways of eating meat and eating well that are low-impact and sustainable and this book ignored all of them while the author simul
Dec 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-gifts
Most Good, Least Harm is a guide to living the MOGO principle—making choices that do the “Most Good” for the world around us—including people, animals, and the environment. Don’t be mistaken into thinking you’re in for a joyless screed—what impressed me most about the author was the compassion she had for her readers.

Weil shares the following quote from Derreck Jensen:

It is possible to kill a million people without personally shedding a drop of blood.

And it’s absolutely true. In today’s global
Jennie Richards
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Author and humane educator Zoe Weil inspires us to live a lifestyle with more meaning, purpose, peace, caring, compassion, and joy, by living a life based on our deepest values. Weil inspires us to make more examined, conscious choices when we shop for products and services by making the most humane, sustainable decisions possible and making choices that don’t exploit, oppress, or cause suffering to people, animals or the environment. She encourages us to walk the talk and make our life the mess ...more
Aug 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: see review
Recommended to Heather by: a speaker at APA convention
Shelves: adult
I found this book to be inspiring and extremely helpful. I'm always wondering about how to deal with living as a privileged person in a first-world country and knowing how many people, inside and outside of the U.S., are suffering. This gives some very practical suggestions and even discusses guilt and how to deal with it.

My only critique is that the author seemed to pick her own "pet" issues to focus on (she devotes entire chapters to products/shopping, and to food) while stating elsewhere that
Roger Wadleigh
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
A guidebook for changing your life, one small habit at a time, towards a better life. Simple things might include mowing an elderly neighbor's lawn with your own, or making a new friend to build community in your neighborhood, changing your incandescent light bulbs for candles, LED's and CFL's, or choosing to make 1/3 or your underwear organic cotton. Or choosing to buy recycled toilet paper half of the time... or rechargeable batteries, or using cloth shopping bags as often as you can remember ...more
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
At the core of this book is the MOGO principle, or "MOst GOod, least harm." The idea is when we make daily choices that do the most good and least harm, we foster inner and outer peace. Questioning and investigating how our choices affect other people, other species, and the environment allows us to make more informed, positive choices that align with our values.

The main section of the book presents the seven keys to MOGO, which gives tools and a framework with which to lead a MOGO life.

Other ch
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Zoe Weil (who founded the Institute for Humane Education) has written a practical and compassionate guide for people who want to make a difference but who may at times feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the world's problems. In an easy and engaging style, she uses the principle of "most good, least harm." She does this gently and in a non-judgmental tone, connecting the dots between issues: social change, human rights, environmentalism, animal issues, peace and global sustainability. The pages ...more
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: green-living
This is one of the most important books I have read. I actually wish I had read it before writing my own book, as it touches on some of the same issues of environmental guilt and sorting out consumer options. Truly inspiring and the perfect book to read entering a new year.
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about choosing in our lives to do that which will lead to the most good, and the least harm. I love Zoe! The world needs more of her!
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Small in size and rich in inspiration. Lots of stories to help conceptualize personal change and resources to make plans for change.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
The thing about this book that is useful is the author's no-guilt, do-your-best-because-it-will-ultimately-make-you-happy philosophy. It really could just be pamphlet, though. ...more
HollyAnne Giffin
Although I agree with Weil's ideas, I find the text a bit simplistic. ...more
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
A quick read.
If you think it's not already too late to save the planet from human beans, this is your book.
Lots of good information (links, etc.) included.
Principles for thoughtful living.
Expounds on the MOGO (more good) philosophy. The resources and action plans were good. A good starting point to get you thinking about how your actions affect others.
Carol Cox
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent information and resources. Really makes you think about what you purchase and consume.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ensuring that our choices reflect our values and that we’re striving to do the most good & least harm for all are important elements of being a healthy, joyful, effective activist. A must-read.
Nicole Maria
rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2016
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Feb 08, 2015
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Jan 20, 2020
Marisa Godwin
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Feb 08, 2017
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Sep 15, 2014
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Jan 03, 2012
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Aug 24, 2012
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Zoe Weil is the co-founder and present of the Institute for Humane Education(IHE). In addition to creating the M.Ed. and certificate programs for IHE and leading IHE’s Sowing Seeds and MOGO (Most Good) workshops, Zoe Weil is the author of The Power and Promise of Humane Education (2004) for educators, Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times (2003) for parents, and Most Good ...more

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