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Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating Paperback – September 1, 1997
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"A must-read. ...debunks the myth that animal products are a necessary part of the human diet... -- Kevin Nealon, actor, comedian
"Reading Erik Marcus' Vegan is a critical first step for anyone wanting to extend both the quality and length of their life... -- Howard Lyman, Director, Eating with a Conscience Campaign, Humane Society of the United States
"This book is a treasure. . . . By focusing on facts rather than ethics, Marcus makes his case even more convincing . . ." -- Natural Health Magazine
"Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating is a cogent and vitally important guide to the many reasons for adopting a vegan diet..." -- Neal Barnard, MD, President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Two birds, one stone. Give it a shot.
This is a very important book because it has the power to help those of us who are already vegetarians explain to the people we love why they should become vegetarians too.
For example, if you shy from meat but still drink milk, you're continuing the endless cycle of cows being impregnated (like other mammals, cows don't produce milk unless they give birth). The cows are then milked for it all (pun not intended!), and when they're worn out after a few years, their exhausted carcasses are sold to be ground up into low-grade fastfood hamburgers. But wait, what about all the calves being born so the cow produces that milk? Female babies replace their mothers for years of endless pregnancy, milking, and infection. The male calves, who have no use in the milk process, are stuffed into veal crates and fed an anemic diet of watered-down formula for their short lives ... before they're lead to the slaughterhouse.
Shocked? I know I was! I'd always disliked milk but loved ice cream (now, I enjoy Soy Delicious soy "ice cream" ... yummy!). Besides the ethics of eating these tortured animals, Marcus also points out the health aspects. Obesity, numberous cancers, heart attacks, angiograms, and many other diseases kill or severely limit the life quality of millions of Westerners. In Asian countries, where low-fat, plant-based diets are the norm, these diseases are virtually unheard of (and I'd like to point out that, at 19 years old, I no longer have perpetual headcolds or the baby fat from years of eating animal products). Included in the book is a chapter on how the beef industry routinely grinds up cattle into "protein concentrates" to feed back to the herd (thus spawning Mad Cow) and how the dairy industry targets young children from the moment they step into a school with tales of "milk is great for you!!". Neither industry mentions that the animals (and thus their products) are pumped full of chemicals, so the paying customer is also ingesting the same! For example, chickens have been genetically modified to grow HUGE in a shorter amount of time than they did 25 years ago. After six weeks of age, 26 % of chickens die from heart attacks thanks to the chemicals and increased growth spurts, which explains why broiler hens are slaughtered before then. Do you really want to eat that??
Also included is a chapter on how cattle ranching is gobbling up America's natural terrain and that meat production contributes to world hunger (I believe the exact number was it takes the same amount of water and land to produce 16 pounds of grain as to make 1 pound of beef ... you can definitely feed more people with that much grain!! Contrast that to 1 pound of beef ... how many folks can you feed that to??).
So the book isn't totally filled by numbers and facts, Marcus smartly includes success stories: people who beat an unhealthy life through a switch to a vegan diet, tortured animals who escaped the slaughterhouse, and Marcus himself, who in the last chapter explains why he made the switch from omnivore to herbivore. It's a sweet, effective humanistic touch to a book that otherwise would be filled with a lot of disturbing data.
It's an excellent book, including a complete biblography in the back with all of Marcus' sources so you can check his information yourself. I wish it was pocket-sized so I can carry it everywhere (I practically do, anyway!) and I've already given copies to family and friends who've found the book just as startling as I did. No, the book doesn't include recipes (check out the "Vegeterian Italian Cookbook" or "Vegan Delights" for those!); this book's sole purpose, which it succeeds admirably at, is informing the public what's REALLY in our food and how it affects us and our planet. This book is very empowering so while the facts are frightening, I find it a light of hope.