From Publishers Weekly
Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat), a writer and lecturer on vegetarianism, offers advice to practicing vegetarians about eating with omnivores. She covers everything from how to answer the question, "Are you a vegetarian?" to tips for dining out and handling meals in a business setting. She also includes a selection of favorite recipes, adapted from classic vegetarian cookbooks. Adams argues that vegetarians today have it rough: "we see death in [meat eaters'] meals, they see it in ours. Attempts will be made to disempower your viewpoint. Your diet is the issue, but you become the target." Point well made. Vegetarians indeed have far fewer options than omnivores at restaurants, at peoples' homes. And as Adams observes, they are often looked down upon. But she shoots herself in the foot with her central thesis: that vegetarians "should see every meat eater as a blocked vegetarian." To her credit, Adams understands that eating is a complicated and emotional issue, influenced by culture, family and politics. By making broad, general statements about vegetarians and omnivores, however, she ultimately helps no one, especially the people she tries to empower. (Nov.)Health
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Vegetarians abstain from eating animal products in order to lead a peaceful lifestyle, but when food choices clash, conversations and mealtimes aren't so harmonious. To aid in the discussion, Adams, author of the underground classic The Sexual Politics of Meat, offers vegetarians ways that can change the quality of their interactions with carnivores. She first asks, "Are you at peace?" because vegetarians who are insecure in their choice represent meat eaters' worst fear: that vegetarianism equals denial and scarcity. Once vegetarians know that the insecurity is not from within, they can see the verbal abuse and emotional blackmail as a sign of the meat eaters' insecurity. Then Adams lists various techniques, from deflecting sabotage to identifying subtext ("If you loved me you'd eat this meat" isn't about food it's about love), and suggests how these techniques may change work, living, and family situations. Besides her own experience, Adams shares stories gleaned from readers' letters fitting in a book about social interaction. For all libraries that have practical books on how to become a vegetarian but none offering advice on communication. Elizabeth C. Stewart, Portland, ME
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.