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The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability Paperback – May 1, 2009


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The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability + Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life + Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs,  and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: PM Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604860804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604860801
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Everyone who eats should read this book. Everyone who eats vegetarian should memorize it . . . This is the single most important book I’ve ever read on diet, agriculture, and ecology."  —Aric McBay, author, What We Leave Behind


"This book saved my life . . . [It] offers us a way back into our bodies, and back into the fight to save the planet."  —Derrick Jensen, author, Endgame


"[Vegetarian Myth] is one of the most important books people, masses of them, can read, as we try with all our might, intelligence, skill, hope, dream , and memory, to turn the disastrous course the planet is on."  —Alice Walker, prize-winning author, The Color Purple



"We may not want to face the facts, but Keith sees this as no excuse to stay in denial. If delivered as a speech, you could see that no one in the audience would be [seated] at the end. I have never seen such rousing prose." —www.ZoeHarcombe.com (August 7, 2011)


"In The Vegetarian Myth ex-vegan Lierre Keith argues that saving the planet and ending the suffering found in factory farms can not be achieved by refusing to eat animals, it can only be achieved by boycotting modern agricultural practices, which Keith calls 'the most destructive thing that people have done to the planet.'" —www.mercola.com

About the Author

Lierre Keith is a writer, a farmer, and a feminist activist. She is the author of the novels Conditions of War and Skyler Gabriel. She splits her time between Northampton, Massachusetts and Humboldt, California.


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Customer Reviews

This was one of the best books I have read in along time.
J. Siglin
Fact is the authors 'facts' just arent believable (which, again, is a shame because a factual book on this topic could be powerful).
A. Perri
Everyone with a vegan friend, relative, or even enemy should give them "The Vegetarian Myth" by Lierre Keith.
John Drake

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3,162 of 3,371 people found the following review helpful By A. Perri on May 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
I want to be clear about a few things:

1) I am a female.
2) I give the idea of this book 5 stars, but its execution 1.
3) I have been a radical vegan, a rabid meat-eater and everything in between (currently in the in-between)
4) I am working on an archaeological PhD on hunter-gatherer diets, subsistence, hunting and transition to agriculture.

I picked this book up after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals". I thought it would be interesting to read a different perspective on the vegetarian debate. I found Safran Foer's book to be much more geared towards the inhumane practices of meat while Keith's book is geared more towards diet/health.

I admit that it took a very long time for me to get through this book, for several reasons. I purchased this book hoping to get something out of it. I am not an upset vegan who wants to hate it and I am not someone who bought it knowing Id love it. I was just neutral. There were two main reasons for my disappointment with the book. One minor, one major. First, I found the second agendas (specifically the radical feminism) distracting and unnecessary. I have nothing against the feminist agenda, but this wasnt the place to put it. Second, I found the book absolutely riddled with bad information, faulty facts and just plain lazy research (if you can call it 'research'). As someone who intensively researches these issues on a daily basis, I found myself underlining items on nearly every page that I knew were just plain untrue or were 'cherry-picked' facts slanted to give a certain perception. This is such a disappointment as a really great case could be made for the author's view if she had only put the real work into researching the book properly.
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329 of 402 people found the following review helpful By Joan Howe on August 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm not going to summarize the book. That's been done well in earlier reviews. This is just a description of some of my issues with the book.

The author interweaves her deepening political and environmental understanding - looking at the whole picture and realizing that pretty much everything in the supermarket, not just the meat, is produced by methods that make the world a crueler, more polluted and, worst of all, less sustainable place, and that to avoid contributing to the problem calls for much more radical solutions than merely leaving the animal products out of your diet - with her own story of worsening health on a vegan diet followed by recovery when she began to eat meat again. This is where my first caveat comes up: she implies, without coming right out and saying, that her vegan diet was also a low-fat diet. I have also been vegan for long periods of my life (although never the decades that she logged) and it was only during the last one, from 2004-2006, that I experienced the slight beginnings of the back problems she describes. No coincidence: that was the one where I went low-fat as well as vegan and actually lost my ability to digest fat. Fortunately I got an accurate diagnosis promptly, got nutritional therapy to regain my ability to digest fat, and lost the back pain within a year. In the latter half of her Nutritional Vegetarianism chapter, she devotes several pages to challenging the demonization of dietary fat by the mainstream medical community. Nevertheless, she continues to attribute her health problems mainly to lack of meat rather than lack of fat.
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361 of 443 people found the following review helpful By Lucas Rockwood on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a vegan (since 2002), I quickly learned that you can't trust the vegetarians for information as they are just as likely to skew the truth as the Beef or Dairy Boards.

So I always love to read non-veg writing, and this book was worth reading for sure. Keith has done her homework and has some very interesting insights to share. I usually burn through books in 2-3 days, but it's taken me a full week to get through this one and I've got about 25 dog-eared pages.

Here's what was interesting:

1 - The need to admit that agriculture itself is screwed up and unsustainable (whether veg based or meat based)

2 - The reality that grains are a pretty bogus basis for a diet.

3 - The bitter truth that our planet can't support us, period (veg or non-veg)

4 - The potential problems with fat soluble vitamins

(note: if you haven't read the book yet, the above might not seem that ground-breaking, but seriously, Keith uncovers some new, very compelling stuff).

Here's where it was deeply flawed:

1 - We vegans are so few in numbers, writing a book about us is so uninteresting to most, that it had to became a book about vegetarians (in most countries, they don't even have a word for vegans, btw).

But it's not a book about vegetarians, except in title.

There are loads of vegetarians, lots of them who don't give much thought to their diet, and most of whom consume copious amounts of animal products (dairy, eggs). So the Vegetarian Myth is itself a myth that most vegetarians don't subscribe to. Vegans, yes. We get attacked so often, every vegan I know has had to create a core story to explain "why" (except me... I just shrug and smile).
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