I first met Susan Schenck in the summer of 2009 in New York City, having already been introduced to her 600-page book, The Live Food Factor ... which I found full of a wealth of valuable information and advocacy of a vegetarian diet, even more so of the vegan diet and lifestyle. ... During our first conversation, I told Susan about my experiences as a vegetarian (lacto-ovo) for more than 15 years, then as a Natural Hygienist, then about my many fasts totaling well over 1,000 days, one year on a 100 percent vegan diet followed by a two-year extension of the same raw vegan diet, then with my experiment with testing a 100 percent raw diet including raw animal food and meat for over ten years, also pointing out the dangers of heavy fruit eating and high-carbohydrate diet. I told her about many patients of mine and the near-miraculous results which followed by a strict curtailment of high carbohydrates in the diet. Also about people who develop severe deficiencies in vitamins A, B12, D3, K, proteins, hormones, etc. on a strict vegan diet lasting two or more years, and then making rapid recoveries in a matter of weeks just by adding a small amount of raw animal foods to their diets. ... Susan, after reading your new book in its entirety, I was greatly impressed by the extent and breadth of the research you did on the history of primitive man and the paleolithic diet, wherein you proved the superior health and success man experienced by the use of meat and animal food for almost three million years of history. This is one of the very best I have read on the subject, and I will recommend it highly to all who are instructed in superior health. --Dr. Stanley S. Bass, ND, DC, PhC, PhD, DO, DSc, DD
Schenck, an ex-vegan, offers a holistic look at eating a mostly raw, meat-enriched diet, and how it benefits our physical health and spiritual well-being.
Schenck (The Live Food Factor, 2009), following years of coping with deficiencies in her body caused by living on a restricted raw vegan diet, has made a daring 90-degree turn: daring because the vitriol cast upon meat eaters from vegans and vegetarians can be extreme. Her book is, in part, as much a study of diets as it is an interesting window into the vegan and vegetarian communities. Although the author now eschews a strict vegan diet, she remains committed to eating a largely raw diet. Using numerous scientific studies inside and outside the “veg” box in addition to conclusions drawn from personal observations made by herself and other eaters, particularly fellow ex-vegans, Schenck explains why peak, long-term health for most people cannot be attained without at least some meat in their diet (by meat, she includes poultry and seafood). Schenck details a fascinating discussion of our evolutionary diet, much of which supports her argument that meat is a natural, crucial part of eating well, particularly for the healthy growth of brain tissue. In striking contrast to our apparently ancient diet is the relatively new and faulty low-fat, low-cholesterol diet promoted by the USDA. Schenck describes this transition as one of the great health cons of the 20th century—a conspiracy that benefits grain growers and drug companies, and results in increased obesity and diabetes among Americans. In one of the book’s final chapters, Schenck imparts a well-reasoned, impassioned argument for eating small quantities of good quality, wild or humanely raised meat, and eating it mindfully, with thanks given to the animal who gave its life. Though Schenck impressively elucidates the complex nutritional analysis and competing dietary theories for the lay reader, the book would benefit from a glossary defining the repeatedly used, lesser-known words, like opioids and mitochondria, as well as the dozens of acronyms used in the diet and nutrition fields. Ironically, an ex-vegan has made an impressively convincing case for how to sustainably eat meat, with the well-being of the animal in mind.
An enthusiastic, compelling, exhaustively researched argument from an unlikely source.
-Kirkus Indie Review
From the Back Cover
This is one of the very best I have read on the subject, and I will recommend it highly to all who are instructed in superior health. --Dr. Stanley S. Bass, ND, DC, PhC, PhD, DO, DSc, DD
I believe this is a very timely and important book, and commend Susan for her courage in bearding the lion in his den, as she confronts the issues involved in vegetarianism/veganism versus omnivorism. And yes, many seem to be, and are, successful in their vegetarianism/veganism. On the other hand, there are many who are not. This book gives credence and validity to those who are not. --Dr. John Fielder
, hygienic doctor, Australia
This book is like a brainstorm on the topic of diet. I applaud Susan's courage for boldly opening up this controversial discussion, as it is the only way to find the truth. --Victoria Boutenko
, raw diet author of Green for Life
, 12 Steps to Raw Foods
, and Green Smoothie Revolution
I especially admire how this author readily admits how her former judgmental attitude towards people who continued to eat animal products has rebounded on her. And while she is now eating meat and other animal-based products, she has not wavered in her conviction in the importance of consuming mainly raw foods and lots of vegetables as the healthiest lifestyle. --LindaJoy Rose, PhD
, author of Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods
(volumes I & II)
I'm a smart guy. I know how to do research. But I still spent a lifetime struggling through the confusing maze of nutritional data to find a comfortable, healthy, ethical way to eat. This book could have saved me 30 years of pain if I found it as a teenager... Get it, read it, use it! --Glenn Livingston, PhD
After being on a 100% raw vegan diet for 15 years, I have come to the conclusion that it is not the ideal diet I once thought it was. I'm so thrilled a book is finally written on this topic. Thank you, Susan, for letting people know the real deal about healthy eating. I pray people can have an open mind and heart to understand why this information needs to be told. --Paul Nison
, author of numerous raw food diet and health books