312 pages, b/w illustrations
Part memoir, nutritional primer, and political manifesto, this controversial examination exposes the destructive history of agriculture – causing the devastation of prairies and forests, driving countless species extinct, altering the climate, and destroying the topsoil – and asserts that, in order to save the planet, food must come from within living communities. In order for this to happen, the argument champions eating locally and sustainably and encourages those with the resources to grow their own food. Further examining the question of what to eat from the perspective of both human and environmental health, the account goes beyond health choices and discusses potential moral issues from eating – or not eating – animals. Through the deeply personal narrative of someone who practiced veganism for 20 years, this unique exploration also discusses alternatives to industrial farming, reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms.
"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.'"
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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.