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101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian Paperback – October 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
However informed on the topic we may consider ourselves to be, Pamela Rice demonstrates that her research is impeccable, as the author goes through her 101 reasons, sometimes with a few lines, and sometimes covering several pages. As the author points out, most people have heard of at least one―perhaps several―reasons why somebody has adopted a vegetarian diet. But this 101 Reasons . . . covers, in a relentless manner, the ethical, ecological, health-related, social and economical arguments, and more, in order to challenge the conventional views on what humans should eat.
The author is founder of the VivaVegie Society and Vegetarian Center, as well as editor of The VivaVine: The Vegetarian-Issues Magazine.
This book is undoubtedly a complete indictment of the widespread meat-eating lifestyle. In fact, how could anyone choose to eat meat, or dairy, after reading this book? However, the author’s writing style is modest, and not in any way ranting, but what she points out in reason after reason is powerful over the 239 pages. . . .
This book covers a vast area, including cruelty to specific species, dead animals and where they go, animal drugs and disease, hazards for fish in the wild or in aquaculture farms, human health and nutrition, the excrement files, hunger in the world and the meat connection, animal mutilation, mad cow disease, hormones in meat and milk, chemical castration, incarceration of innocent veal calves, cyanide and coral reefs, water pollution, scientific thinking on cancer, heart failure and stroke, and milk and osteoporosis. It is a valuable repository of all the information you will ever need to close an argument, although Pamela Rice modestly writes that there is still plenty to explore.
All the facts presented are well referenced, the index allows readers to cross-reference easily, and there are reasons by category. This is the book that every vegan and vegetarian would find invaluable, and although the meat and dairy industries can’t be prettied up for a happy presentation, yet the author manages to use her wit, or irony, in paragraph headings such as “White wine with your mercury?” “Genetic integrity: the animals’ ultimate sacrifice”, “Numbers up: cholesterol readings”, “Listeria: the pathogen that came in from the cold”, “Pick your poisson: dioxin, mercury, or PCBs”.
There’s excellent advice here on what we should be eating to maximise our health, as well as the health and scientific reasons why. The author gives good background on what has led to this horrific situation, with the whole planet being poisoned just so that unthinking people can eat meat. And this book vindicates the choices made by vegetarians and vegans every day. However, the author has kept it simple by concentrating on the term “vegetarian”, as it is a diet that eschews any form of meat, whereas “vegan” is not a diet but a lifestyle.
This book comes highly recommended―if only I could give a copy to each of my omnivore friends!
Arguments supporting a meatless diet, addressing ethical, health-related, social, and economic concerns with research from government documents, mainstream media, and trade periodicals.
Reviewed by Louis Gedo
I just finished reading Pamela Rice's 101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian, and I simply have been bowled over. Reason after reason, the information the author brings forth is unrelenting and, no less devastating. This is up there as one the most far-reaching indictments of the meat-eating lifestyle to date. So much of this material was absolutely new to me, and I pride myself on being an informed vegan. It would be pretty tough for any meat eater to remain so after reading this book. If you read it, you will be transformed. Despite the obvious fact that Ms. Rice shares the philosophy of your most ardent vegan advocate, the writing style is understated, which is perhaps what gives the information its power. In the majority of cases Ms. Rice's facts come from conventional sources (the USDA, the EPA, The New York Times, The Economist, agricultural colleges, etc.), which, by the way, are copiously referenced. I figure there are perhaps 1,500 citations in the book. I could not, of course, look at every one, but it was nice to know they were always there to back up the facts. I did look up a few with Google searches. In those cases I was at once brought into a world of key experts at the forefronts of their fields. Furthermore, the 13-page index appears to allow readers a good chance at cross referencing at any point. Both the index and the reference pages were interesting browse-reads in themselves. Here is a book that should probably be on the shelf of every vegan or vegetarian alive. This book offers the meat-free the constant assurance that each had made the best decision of his or her life. My only complaint with the book was that the author did not let loose more often. I got the feeling Ms. Rice's editors reined in a more flamboyant style, a style that seeps through the cracks all too infrequently. In the end, at risk of repeating myself, if you're a vegetarian or vegan, here is your ultimate vindication. If you're a meat eater, you may want to consider yourself duly put on the hot seat.
Less an introduction to vegetarianism than a list of reasons not to eat meat, this expansion of a self-published pamphlet Rice hands out on New York streets (she claims to have distributed nearly 200,000 copies since 1991) offers already committed vegetarians back-up for their decision and gives diehard carnivores a surprising look at some of the problems associated with meat eating. Rice's "attempt to investigate every good reason to become a vegetarian" can feel unnervingly strident, even for those inclined to agree with her, but her sources are primarily mainstream newspaper and magazine articles-not small, fiery anti-carnivore websites. Some of Rice's reasons we should all go veggie include: vegetables' high concentrations of beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants; the stomach-turning odor of pork "mega-farms"; costly government subsidies for livestock producers; and studies that show animal protein is linked to heart disease, hormonal cancers and diabetes. This isn't a book to read cover-to-cover, but it will provide interested parties with a wealth of information about health and social issues connected to meat consumption.
Reviewed by Robert Flatley, Kutztown University, PennsylvaniaExpanding on her popular pamphlet of the same title, vegetarian writer/activist Rice thoroughly covers all the practical reasons to go vegetarian, including (in addition to the welfare of animals) social, medical, economic, and―especially―environmental concerns while avoiding spiritual or religious reasons. Examples of her reasons include "The Cancer connection: The 'Big C' and meat" and "Fossil fuel alchemy: The oil in your meat." Rice aims to let the facts speak for themselves and not to attack anyone's eating habits or beliefs. She accomplishes this by thoroughly documenting all her 101 reasons, using respected mainstream sources, such as U.S. government reports, major newspapers, peer-reviewed journal articles, and other citations from scientists, doctors, and government officials. Although Rice jumps from topic to topic, intending to give readers the big picture, she includes a page that lists "reasons by category" as well as a comprehensive index for those interested in a specific aspect of vegetarianism. A well-written and -documented indictment of the meat industry and its impact on the world, this is an excellent source for students writing papers on or debating this topic. Recommended for all libraries.
More About the Author
At the time, Ms. Rice worked as a sales representative for a full-service print shop. The next step was natural--write up a list of the best reasons and send it through her employer's facility. Once she had her stacks of "veggie flyers," out she went to the streets -- New York City streets, that is, where she lives. She was frequently seen at this time passing out copies of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian" to passersby, spreading the eye-opening information about the many dark sides of the meat business. It happens that the feedback for her avocation turned out to be very good, and today there are over 200,000 pamphlets in circulation, seven updated editions, and twelve printings. Current editions are still selling, mostly by word of mouth.
In the 1990s, Ms. Rice founded a magazine -- The VivaVine -- and produced 50 editions of it. At the time, it was state-of-the-art in vegetarian journalism.
Eventually, Lantern Books asked Ms. Rice to be one of its authors, and a little while later the pamphlet was enlarged to about eight times its size and available in book form. Both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal gave the book excellent reviews.
Today, Pamela Rice may be better known as the organizer of the Veggie Pride Parade in New York City, but at heart, she's still a writer.
Top Customer Reviews
So much of this material was absolutely new to me, and I pride myself on being an informed vegan. It would be pretty tough for any meat eater to remain so after reading this book. If you read it, you will be transformed.
Despite the obvious fact that Ms. Rice shares the philosophy of your most ardent vegan advocate, the writing style is understated, which is perhaps what gives the information its power. In the majority of cases Ms. Rice's facts come from conventional sources (the USDA, the EPA, The New York Times, The Economist, agricultural colleges, etc.), which, by the way, are copiously referenced. I figure there are perhaps 1,500 citations in the book. I could not, of course, look at every one, but it was nice to know they were always there to back up the facts. I did look up a few with Google searches. In those cases I
was at once brought into a world of key experts at the forefronts of their fields. Furthermore, the 13-page index appears to allow readers a good chance at cross referencing at any point. Both the index and the reference pages were interesting browse-reads in themselves.
Here is a book that should probably be on the shelf of every vegan or vegetarian alive. There, this book offers the meat-free the constant assurance that each had made the best decision of his or her life.
My only complaint with the book was that the author did not let loose more often. I got the feeling Ms.Read more ›
Still, these reasons are articulated in intricate and often disturbing detail. The links between dairy production and the life (if it can be called that) of veal cattle, the extreme overproduction required of laying hens and mother cows, the huge amounts of waste produced by factory farms and the dangers of biotechnology, genetic engineering and cloning are outlined in stunning detail.
Of course there are also reasons involving the positive health benefits (and benefits for the planet) brought about by eating a vegetarian diet, from reducing your risk of several kinds of cancer to increasing beneficial phytochemicals in your diet and reducing the world's oil and energy drains.
There are probably reasons here that most readers have not considered, and facts you might not know about; for instance, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest pregnant women heat cold cuts to 170 degrees to reduce their risk of getting listeria. Or that even though its forbidden for cows to eat other cows because of the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease), the Food and Drug Administration says as many as 350,000 cows that humans consume were fed bovine by-products.Read more ›
101 Reasons is a gift to society. A clear, comprehensive log of the myriad reasons a vegetarian diet just makes sense. The tone is perfect-unapologetic and direct while still light and conversational. Reading this will strengthen your convictions if you are already vegetarian, and will make you stop and reassess if you are not. This is a "just the facts" approach. Thankfully, not once are animals referred to as "cute" anywhere in the book. Covering everything from individual health benefits to environmental and global impact, and everything in between, this book should be a treasured resource in any home library to be referred to again and again.
"101 Reasons" is unlike most books and lectures on vegetarianism, which preach to the already converted and don't teach me (already converted) anything I didn't already know. "101 Reasons" will surprise people whether they have, or lack, previous knowledge of the rationale for vegetarianism.
The book is beautifully written. To the point, and humorous puns makes a hard-to-take message more palatable.
I want everyone I know to pick this one up!
-- Jean Thaler Brooklyn NY
for some reason Amazon shows somebody else's name as the reviewer
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pamela Rice founded the magazine VitaVine (now defunct), and is the organizer of the Veggie Pride Parade in New York City. Read morePublished on September 25, 2012 by Steven H Propp
Actually, I was already a vegetarian, writing a paper about vegetarianism for college, when I got this book. Read morePublished on May 2, 2010 by S. Ingles
This one of the best vegetarian advocacy books available. As the title suggests the book is divided into 101 individual sections. Read morePublished on December 1, 2009 by Erehwon
If you care about either your Health, the Planet or the lives of living conscious beings that share the same senses we have then please read the great book by Pamela Rice, "101... Read morePublished on January 10, 2009 by Joseph Puentes
PAMELA, DID YOU HAVE TO PUT you picture on the cover? If you're trying to galvanize those who are already vegetarians, I'm sure you'll succeed. Read morePublished on November 27, 2008 by M. Miklas
To my surprise, this book is very well written, not preachy or ideological, but rather is a "laundry list" of facts and well documented research on the topic of vegetarianism, why... Read morePublished on June 12, 2008 by Health Conscious
I loved this book! It was candy to my soul. I read it twice and probably will again. I highly recommend it to everyone that wants the facts, the whole facts and nothing but facts. Read morePublished on February 29, 2008 by Santos Lopez