The Vegetarian Myth – Food, Justice and Sustainability

From Lierre Keith

Why This Book?

This was not an easy book to write. For many of you, it won’t be an easy book to read. I know. I was a vegan for almost twenty years. I know the reasons that compelled me to embrace an extreme diet and they are honorable, ennobling even. Reasons like justice, compassion, a desperate and all-encompassing longing to set the world right. To save the planet—the last trees bearing witness to ages, the scraps of wilderness still nurturing fading species, silent in their fur and feathers. To protect the vulnerable, the voiceless. To feed the hungry. At the very least to refrain from participating in the horror of factory farming.

These political passions are born of a hunger so deep that it touches on the spiritual. Or they were for me, and they still are. I want my life to be a battle cry, a war zone, an arrow pointed and loosed into the heart of domination: patriarchy, imperialism, industrialization, every system of power and sadism. If the martial imagery alienates you, I can rephrase it.

Keep reading at author’s website


I’m surprised to see such boldface stupidity on this site. And this would be ignored if it didn’t keep popping up in places like Layna Berman’s so called “Your Own Health And Fitness” narcissistic radio savagery against healthy diets with lots of “evidence” of why you should eat bad ones. The China Study puts all that to rest, yet these people persist with ridiculous arguments such as vegetarians eat rice which has a negative impact on the environment, ignoring the fact that 90% of the grains that are grown are fed to animals. Or how vegans are “angry” or “underdeveloped” because of their diets. I have never met one of these vegans. Anyone buying into this drivel would be well advised to stop by Ukiah physician Dr.Peter Cho’s office to discuss the reality of the diet. Dr.Cho is a vegan himself and has health that I aspire too. Or at least stop by Mulligan’s books and pick up a copy of “The China Study” and maybe “Healthy at 100” by John Robbins. Call KZYX and demand to have Layna Berman’s show stricken from the schedule for it’s dangerous myths and lies promulgated to the public as “health information.”

    The purpose of Ukiah blog is not to preach to the choir, or hew towards safe, non-controversial subjects, but rather to provoke, sometimes, comments and discussion such as yours, Sean. Bravo! There are BioDynamic farmers in our community who believe that animals are a crucial part of wholistic farming. -DS

If you think it’s stupidity, I’d like to see you eek out an existence on 90% of our countys’ land, and not depend on animals.

As for the China Study, which I admit I haven’t read, from what I understand there are a few problems with Campbell’s methodology. He ask people what they eat but doesn’t verify it. If you ask my dad what he eats and you actually observe what he eats, they are two very different things. In a society that has Buddhist/Confusion/Taoist leanings, eating meat is not good but when you look at China’s consumption of meat and dairy as a whole, it is substantial. Also, most Asians-except Native Americans and Mongolians-have bigger pancreas’ and salivary then other people probably due to their eating grains for much longer.

While veganism may work for people for their life, what happens over multiple generations? Anhropomorphologist have studied many people when they transition from a paleolithic diet to a more domestic, agrarian one, they physically degenerate. They start getting cavities more, bone structure gets more brittle, they get TB (TB leaves bone lessions), etc. Part of the degenration may be because of a less diverse diet and soil exhaustion, a higher dependence on cereals also happens with the domestication packagfe and could be a contributor as well.

If you need to witness angry vegans, read responses to a Kathy Frston article on Alternet.

All I know is, if we didn’t have animals, we’d burn much more diesel collecting cover crop to compost to grow the great veg. And animals tase good, too.

I don’t begrudge people using animals in their farming. I believe in agri-culture, not agri-business, and I am a member of those CSA’s. I have a problem with people demonizing a diet that has an enormous amount of evidence to show drastic health benefits, and the people that choose to eat it. It is the absurd effort to remain “balanced” and show all sides that has the global climate change “debate”, for example, still rolling along in the public mind, despite the fact there is no debate in the scientific community. If 300 people are saying “x” and one is saying “y” and the media presents both with equal vigor, they are creating an inaccurate perception. Same with plant based diets. The data is overwhelming and arguments to the contrary border on the absurd or anecdotal at best. If people want to eat animal products, do it because you enjoy it, but don’t kid yourself that it will improve your health or benefit the environment.