Kelly Kinkade's Reviews > The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith
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's review
Sep 12, 2012

liked it

This author is obviously angry at being fooled into believing that a vegan lifestyle would be better for her and the planet, and the book is an impassioned argument against such beliefs. Her arguments against the three main arguments for vegetarianism (ecologic, moral, and health) also appear quite strong, although I suspect there is some handwaving at times where the science gets beyond her. In particular, I noted the use of "chemfear" (the belief that "if you can't pronounce it it must not be good for you") in a few places, and there's other spots where I'm not convinced that she's connected all the dots. But there's enough here to at least make one question the merits of the positions she rails against, which are often held with a religious fervor.

Vegans will hate this book, as will many vegetarians, as she calls them childish and ignorant. (I suspect this accounts for many of the "1 star" ratings I'm seeing.) But, sadly, she is right on both counts, certainly with respect to vegans and also with respect to many vegetarians. And while I think her closing recommendations are problematically impractical for many people, she admits that she doesn't have all the answers. But at least she is putting the questions on the table. Unfortunately, the closing of the book includes an excessively aggressive indictment of liberals, the American left, and men, which will tend to put off people who do not share her beliefs in radicalism and feminism. Bad bridge-building there that mars an otherwise very good book.

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Reading Progress

September 12, 2012 – Started Reading
September 12, 2012 – Shelved
September 12, 2012 –
page 31
9.69% "This book is overrun by teleological fallacies."
September 12, 2012 –
page 139
September 12, 2012 –
page 245
76.56% "This author clearly has a good deal of righteous anger. But that doesn't make her wrong."
September 13, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 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.

Kelly Kinkade I did follow up on some of her sources, and the ones I did do not cohere with your claims. So I'm afraid I'm going to have to refuse to take your statements on face value without more specifics.

message 3: by Claude (new)

Claude Which ones did you follow up? She quotes fictional texts instead of academic papers! Shouldn't that alone set off alarm bells?
I have never heard any scientist or agriculturalist that would claim that plant crops are more damaging to the environment than livestock. It's completely illogical. After all you have to feed the animals plants as well. It doesn't take Einstein to work it out. To get a steak, you need a cow plus a plant. Where as if you just eat plants, you only need one crop.
But if your taste for meat is willing along your ignorance, then so be it. You can lead a sheep to water...

Kelly Kinkade Thank you for exposing your prejudices, Claude. I now know exactly how much weight to give your opinions.

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