Dr. Michael R. Eades, a libertarian and leading advocate of the paleo-primal lifestyle, has published a fascinating review of Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. Dr. Eades is, along with his wife, the author of some great books, including the important The Protein Power Lifeplan. In his review, Dr Eades remarks that “she has done a tremendous job of synthesizing the scientific information into an easy to read, informative format.” He also says:
Lierre Keith, the author of this book, has come closer to literally doing that than almost any writer I’ve ever read. Not only does her passion for her subject bleed through in almost every sentence, she is a superb lyrical prose stylist. My book is dog eared, underlined and annotated from front to back – I can’t remember anything I’ve read that has contained so many terrific lines.
Here is one of Keith’s quotes from her book:
Carnivores cannot survive on cellulose. They may on occasion eat grass, but they use it medicinally, usually as a purgative to clear their digestive tracts of parasites. Ruminants, on the other hand, have evolved to eat grass. They have a rumen (hence, ruminant), the first in a series of multiple stomachs that acts as a fermentative vat. What’s actually happening inside a cow or a zebra is that bacteria eat the grass, and the animals eat the bacteria.
Lions and hyenas and humans don’t have a ruminant’s digestive system. Literally from our teeth to our rectums we are designed for meat. We have no mechanism to digest cellulose.
And another (mostly) sterling quote:
Rice, wheat, corn – the annual grains that vegetarians want the world to eat – are thirsty enough to drink whole rivers.
The result has been an unending river of corn, drowning our arteries and our insulin receptors, our rural communities, and poor subsistence economies the world over. The corn comes at a huge environmental toll: there’s a half gallon of oil in every bushel. And it’s essentially a massive transfer of money from the US taxpayer to the giant grain cartels, who are able to command the price of grain to be lower than the cost of production, with all of us making up the difference – five billion dollars in subsidies for corn alone, straight into the pockets of Cargill and Monsanto.
The only criticism Dr. Eades has of the book is Keith’s sustained emphasis on politics and feminism. A libertarian friend wrote me to say, “While her (Lierre Keith) radical feminist / environmentalist philosophy is nutty as hell, this is a hugely important book.” A former vegan, Keith explains Moral Vegetarians, Political Vegetarians, and Nutritional Vegetarians, and refutes many of their arguments and myths. As a pro-meat, pro-fat, pro-protein, anti-grain low-carber, I just ordered my copy and I can’t wait to read it.
Go to the front page (upper left), and order the book through LewRockwell.com.3:34 am on September 9, 2009 Email Karen De Coster