Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Myth is as Good as a Mile

To say that I own a lot of books is like saying there’s a lot of sand in the Sahara.

Most of my furniture is books. The good furniture, anyway.

On my shelves reside old friends: Captain Blood, Scaramouche, Ivanhoe, Crazy Horse – books I first read as a child. Other, for me, keystone works such as The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (Eric Fromm), Without Conscience (Robert Hare) and Lame Deer: A Seeker of Visions (Doug Boyd).

Every once in a long,while, I come across a book that I find so compelling that I all but literally can’t put it down, and afterward feel a moral imperative to share it with others.

The Vegetarian Myth, by Lierre Keith, is such a book.

For anyone interested in social justice, the environment or their own health, Ms. Keith’s book is a must-read. As a one-time vegetarian, myself, I found her reflections particularly poignant.

This is an informationally dense book, extensively referenced, and the case against vegetarianism that Ms. Keith presents is as rational and logical a presentation as you will find on any subject. Not only does she refute the false moral, political and nutritional premises that are the well-meaning foundation of vegetarianism, but she does so with tremendous compassion. She understands tem from her own experience, from her own heart.

She also connects some very disturbing dots. Why, for example, are the same handful of corporations who are the biggest war profiteers, also the corporations profiteering from manipulation of your food supply?

But more, Ms. Keith’s voice is both unique and eloquent. Her gallows-humor asides are filled with heart-rending irony. And she pulls no punches just to be “polite.” She is honest and direct, saying what she means and meaning just what she says – something as rare as hens teeth.

If you eat, or love anyone who eats, or if you live on this earth or love anyone who does, you owe it to yourself to read The Vegetarian Myth.


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