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 Post subject: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:29 am 
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Was it just me or was this book really insulting to people who have chosen not to eat meat?

Or just give your thoughts in general.

I liked the idea of the book. Eating local is good, and it'd be kickass to be able to raise my own food. Then I got about halfway through the book and the eye rolling began.


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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:53 pm 
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Agreed. I stopped reading the book halfway through. I completely appreciate the idea behind the book, and I think embracing local food is a tremendous thing, but I found the book a bit self-indulgent. It didn't hold my interest for very long.

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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:08 am 
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Once upon a time I owned and read this book and loved it. I was a long-time vegetarian but newly vegan and I guess part of me sort of believed that veganism wasn't totally self-sustainable, or at least empathized that not everyone has the means of, say, living of the land without eating animal products (which sadly is true in some places on this planet but that's another matter).

But that was then. Now, I'm way more impassioned over animal rights and the ethical side of veganism and I've been thinking about that book a lot. Some recipes are real good, (such as the blackberry-basil-balsamic crisp) she writes fantastic prose, and it's got great info on growing food, food oppression and politics and agribusiness (I mean, factory farming). I love her fiction writing. But I've been thinking about that book lately, and what I think is that it would probably make me very angry if I re-read it today. I realize much of her argument is over LOCAL food, but at least on the health level I think basically everyone on this forum is living proof that vegans thrive juuuuuuuuust fine.

I totally want to give my money to female authors but I can't give my money to animal-killing authors.

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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:50 pm 
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All other things being equal, local is of course better, environmentally-speaking.

But all other things aren't equal.

Eating meat—even locally raised meat—is probably worse, environmentally, than eating nonlocal (even really, really nonlocal) plants.

http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/dn13741-food-miles-dont-feed-climate-change--meat-does.html

You don't need to choose between your ethical concern for animals and your concerns for the environment. They are in sync.

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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:28 pm 
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i thought the book was pretty good, except the parts written by her teenage daughter, who is apparently an expert on all things biological, nutritional, and yogic.

"there have never been any truly vegan cultures because they accidentally ate bugs and that's how they got their B12! LOL!"
while completely neglecting the fact that B12 is a product of bacteria, not animals.

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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:57 pm 
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So I finally actually read this-- sometimes Barbara Kingsolver is just so incredibly self-righteous that I can't take it and have to have a 4 year break from her. And yes, I was annoyed by her defensive posturing about meat-eating, and found the whole project smug, etc, etc.

But I am also seriously thinking about how dependent/adoring many vegans are on bananas, avocados, and salad greens. And while I am for sure not judging anyone else's dietary choices, I'm hoping to re-evaluate my own shopping and cooking habits a bit. Part of me thinks this will just be a bummer, since Denmark is not exactly a tropical wonderland of fresh produce, but I want to try and be more conscious about this for a while. Who knows, maybe I'll also have a transcendent and miraculous experience, just like the Kingsolvers!


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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:05 am 
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terrormisu wrote:
Was it just me or was this book really insulting to people who have chosen not to eat meat?


I haven't read it, but it has a stupid name and I would avoid it on that basis alone. (Or pick it up in a bookstore, read the back, and sort of snort and squint and put it back on the shelf.)

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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:30 am 
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I am going to out myself as someone who liked this book. Of course, of course I am vegan so all the animal product-raising stuff grossed me out and made me want to fling it across the room at times, however I didn't really find it self-righteous. I think it was fairly brave of her to write it and any piece of literature that snaps people back into thinking about their food choices is an okay thing, in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:30 am 
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vijita, mostly I agree with you. To be fair, I have read a lot of Kingsolver and heard her speak (I grew up in Tucson, where she lived for many years) and she really does tend to be a bit holier-than-thou. So probably I went into it ready to hear that--oh my, my daughter gave up Pop Tarts! Isn't she special and brilliant? But on the other hand, yeah, good for her for involving her whole family in this enterprise.

Completely true--we should all be thinking about our food choices and the book really did make me reconsider some things (not eating animal products, obviously) and look at my eating and lifestyle habits with new eyes. I was actually wondering if anyone else on the PPK had felt that way and been moved to start eating more locally/organic or make other lifestyle changes after reading the book.


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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:43 pm 
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ScandinaVegan wrote:
I was actually wondering if anyone else on the PPK had felt that way and been moved to start eating more locally/organic or make other lifestyle changes after reading the book.

When the 100-mile-diet book first came out I was pretty inspired. I was working at a HFS at the time and volunteering on an organic farm and I got super into local. I actually applied for an environmental project bursary from Alberta and got funded a tonne of money to build a website about vegetarianism, the local food movement, and environmentalism but I had to turn it down because I got accepted to grad school in a different province.

People are REALLY hardcore local here and I love it. I hate when they start talking about "save me that beef shoulder this year and Jean-Yves has the best eggs because he yells at his chickens" (real quotes), but the self-sustainability concept is refreshing. And for meat-eaters, I have never seen people so obsessed with heirloom vegetables and who has the best tomatoes and if Jennifer managed to get her watermelon growing this year.

I just like books about living off the land, even if they are sometimes traumatizing and continuously not in line with my personal ethics. A large part of my veganism is being connected to what I eat in a mindful way. So there's no way in hell I will ever eat animal products, but I do understand how immensely right it feels to eat stuff I've grown myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:47 pm 
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FootFace wrote:

You don't need to choose between your ethical concern for animals and your concerns for the environment. They are in sync.

Oh and this!


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