Part memoir, nutritional primer, and political manifesto, this controversial examination exposes the destructive history of agriculture—causing the devastation of prairies and forests, driving countless species extinct, altering the climate, and destroying the topsoil—and asserts that, in order to save the planet, food must come from within living communities. In order for this to happen, the argument champions eating locally and sustainably and encourages those with the resources to grow their own food. Further examining the question of what to eat from the perspective of both human and environmental health, the account goes beyond health choices and discusses potential moral issues from eating—or not eating—animals. Through the deeply personal narrative of someone who practiced veganism for 20 years, this unique exploration also discusses alternatives to industrial farming, reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms.
Where to get it?
Lierre Keith was vegan for almost 20 years. She explores why she was vegan, and what led her to give it up.
From her point of view, there are moral, political and nutritional reasons for vegetarianism and veganism. Apparently she believed in all of them, and in this book explores them and what she has come to see as the fallacies inherent in each of them. The book is full of her pain and her outrage. She wanted to do no harm to any living creature. She wanted to save the earth, and thought veganism was a contribution she was willing to make. She dedicated herself to it, and thereby permanently sacrificed her health.
She shares her discoveries of how vegan and vegetarianism negatively impact diversity and the flora and fauna of vast former bioregions as annual agriculture despoils the soils, and usurps the habitat of millions of animals who would otherwise live in community in the former rainforests, prairies, forests, marshes, grasslands, savannas and veldts.
Passionate enough to sacrifice herself for the benefit of other creatures, she is passionate in her re-entry into what she sees as the complete circle of life, where all eat and are eaten.
My opinion about annual agriculture matches her conclusions, but I think she would reach a wider readership if she had held back on the passion in her book. Just the same, a curious person, whether omnivore or no, could learn from the meticulously documented research she presents, the research that convinced her.