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Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian's Survival Handbook Paperback – August 25, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (August 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826415539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826415530
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,014,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory. It's been called "ground-breaking" and "pioneering" (interesting how our description of books draws from our invasive relationship to the land). Many say it is an underground classic, which I guess means that lots of people know and love it, but it goes unnoticed by the dominant media. Of course, when it first came out, that was slightly different. Then, right-wing reviewers held it up as the latest example of academic excess and political correctness, which was funny to me, because I am not an academic. I used to teach a course I developed at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University on "Sexual and Domestic Violence: Theological and Pastoral Issues" -- but very infrequently. Basically, for as long as I have been an adult, I have been an advocate, an activist, someone trying to figure out how do we transform this d*#! world that is built on inequality.

I have published more than 100 articles in journals, books, and magazines on the issues of vegetarianism and veganism, animal advocacy, domestic violence and sexual abuse. I am particularly interested in the interconnections among forms of violence against human and nonhuman animals, writing, for instance, about why woman-batterers harm animals and the implications of this (it's in my book Animals and Women). Besides advancing scholarship and developing theory in the area of interlocking oppressions, I have created a series of books that address the vegetarian/vegan experience: Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian Survival Guide, Help! My Child Stopped Eating Meat! and The Inner Art of Vegetarianism.

I've worked to bring back into print Howard Williams's nineteenth-century classic text on vegetarianism, The Ethics of Diet. I have contributed prefaces to important vegetarian, vegan, and animal defense books and discovered an eighteenth-century vegetarian work that had never entered the vegetarian tradition.

Because I am so deeply moved by my relationship with animals, I have authored books of prayers for animals for both adults and children.

I am excited that the 20th anniversary edition of The Sexual Politics of Meat will be published next February.

I also write about literary topics, including two "Bedside" books: one on Frankenstein and one on Jane Austen. I am finishing a memoir on caregiving and reading.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book and will be giving copies to many of my vegetarian friends.
B. R Sullivan
I was and am profoundly pleased and surprised to find this book to be a work of philosophy, deep insight, wonderful humor and a good read.
B. van der Wel
Very comforting to hear from other people all the rude things that meat eaters do say to vegetarians.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on May 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Life as a vegetarian or vegan is not always simple or easy, especially when we have to deal with meat eaters in a primarily meat eating world. Millions of North Americans have turned to vegetarianism and embraced this healthy, compassionate diet, and our numbers are increasing. Unfortunately, we are still a minority, and problems or inconveniences with meat eating family members, relatives, friends, co-workers and others are commonplace. Our ethical diet draws a variety of responses, everything from kidding to anger. Using her own experiences and more than 200 surveys from vegetarians who live with meat eaters, Adams provides good advice on how to deal with the meat eaters in your life. Adams suggests that we consider meat eaters as "blocked vegetarians." In the chapter "Love at Work III: Living with Meat Eaters - Partners and Children" Adams discusses such topics as living with meat eating partners, raising children when only one parent is a vegetarian, raising vegetarian children and cooking with children. To complement the practical advice given to vegetarians, Adams has included more than 70 pages of vegetarian recipes. A section on "About Ingredients and Products" is also very informative describing items of interest to vegetarians and where and how they can be used. The appendices are also very useful and enhance an already insightful book. Appendix A, "Living Among Meat Eaters: Rules of Thumb," provides reminders of important points pertaining to living with meat eaters. Appendix B, "Letter to Parents of Vegetarians," contains wise advice for parents whose children have chosen vegetarianism. Appendix C is "The Vegetarian Patrons of Restaurants Card.Read more ›
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By B. R Sullivan on May 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up after hearing praises about it on a vegetarian website. I have been vegan for just over a year and before that was an ovo-lacto vegetarian for almost five years. In that time I had only a few bad experiences with meat-eaters finding out I was a vegetarian/vegan, but these experiences did stand out in my mind and made me rather fearful of confrontations. This book gave me quite a few tools for coping with any bad reactions that I may come across. While I still don't look forward to my aunt finding out that I'm vegan now, I feel better equipped to deal with her reaction this time.
I especially liked the author's point that meat eaters see the vegetarian diet as a diet of scarcity and that showing meat eaters just how delicious and abundant a vegetarian diet is can be one of the best ways of dealing with them.
As an added bonus, there are about 50 recipes included. So far I've tried three (Roasted vegetables with fennel seeds, mushroom cobbler, and tasty tofu) and found them all to be outstanding. I can't wait to try more.
I highly recommend this book and will be giving copies to many of my vegetarian friends.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Written for people everywhere who have adopted a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian's Survival Handbook by dedicated vegetarian Carol J. Adams is a very practical guide filled from cover to cover with thematically appropriate discussions of common issues facing vegetarians living in a meat-eating world. Ranging from fitting in during summer barbecues or Thanksgiving dinner; to living with non-vegetarian roommates, family, or significant others; to fifty delicious vegetarian recipes that broaden the vegetarian's palate selection, Living Among Meat Eaters is a superbly presented, down-to-earth, "user friendly", and thoroughly enjoyable compendium of tips, techniques and social advice for the committed vegetarian.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Ripley on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I truly needed to read this book. I have recently made the decision to convert to vegetarianism and the hardest thing was not the adjustment to my new lifestyle, but the belligerent and ignorant meat eaters who are in my life. People are very unaccepting of my change and it has been difficult to deal with their hostility and their jokes that they inflict upon me.
Well, this book has helped me to cope with these situations. Adams goes in-depth with this book. It has been extremely helpful. Her methods of dealing with meat-eaters is effective.
There is one other advantage to this book; it provides several good recipes.
One thing I must note: this book is not for new veggies who are looking for information on a vegetarian / vegan diet. It does provide nutritional facts, etc.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By N E Hetrick on May 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for anyone who is or knows a vegetarian. It is clearly written and gives specific and practical advice, accompanied by empathic anecdotes, and explorations of many vegetarian philosophies. The authoress has educated herself well on the perspectives of vegans, vegatarians, and meat eaters, and suggests that non-meateaters think of others as blocked vegetarians (people who know that a vegetable-based diet is healthier for their bodies) but treat people as potential vegetarians (with respect, no preaching, and a simply 'live as an example' approach). She tells us to remind meateaters that apologize for their diet that we are not their alter-egos, and if they feel guilt over their choices, they need to examine their own beliefs, and not project their conflicts onto us. She tells us how to "be prepared," not only to supply our own food at events or outings, but how to be mentally and philosophically prepared for attacks, by meateaters who find our diet threatening (as an attack AGAINST their own beliefs, rather than a statement FOR ours). She has suggestions for what to say, in response to some of the most common attacks, and explains how both vegetarians and meateaters see their diet as a statement FOR life (vegetarians don't eat meat because to them, meat is death, and meateaters eat meat because to them, it is life-giving). Essentially, she gives a balanced perspective, insight into the minds of all Westerners. The problems with this book: (1)the responses she provides for us sometimes have a stilted language style that could easily sound unnatural and therefore confusing, to those that know us well (2) the authoress is a vegan, and her frequent statements about the vegan diet (though true) may make vegetarians who eat dairy feel guilty and less socially responsible than their vegan counterparts.
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