The Vegetarian Myth

  • by Lierre Keith
  • Narrated by Joyce Bean
  • 11 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

We’ve been told that a vegetarian diet can feed the hungry, honor the animals, and save the planet. Lierre Keith believed in that plant-based diet and spent twenty years as a vegan. But in The Vegetarian Myth, she argues that we’ve been led astray - not by our longings for a just and sustainable world, but by our ignorance.
The truth is that agriculture is a relentless assault against the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. In service to annual grains, humans have devastated prairies and forests, driven countless species extinct, altered the climate, and destroyed the topsoil - the basis of life itself. Keith argues that if we are to save this planet, our food must be an act of profound and abiding repair: it must come from inside living communities, not be imposed across them. Part memoir, part nutritional primer, and part political manifesto, The Vegetarian Myth will challenge everything you thought you knew about food politics.

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What the Critics Say

"Lierre Keith’s book is beyond fantastic." (Dr. Michael Eades, author of Protein Power)
"This book saved my life. Not only does The Vegetarian Myth make clear how we should be eating, but also how the dominant food system is killing the planet. This necessary book challenges many of the destructive myths we live by and offers us a way back into our bodies, and back into the fight to save the planet." (Derrick Jensen, author of Endgame and A Language Older Than Words
"Everyone interested in healthy eating should be grateful to Lierre Keith." (Sally Fallon Morell, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting take on sustainability

The author has a very interesting take on agriculture and sustainability. I think her expressed hatred of "masculinity" detracts from the other messages. In all of her assertions about "adult knowledge" and "accepting truths" and "evolutionary truths", she seems to have completely missed that we, too, men and women, are the products of evolution, and like our primate relatives, males tend to be bigger and more aggressive because those are the ones that reproduced the most - evolution in action. Not saying we're slaves to it, but if we don't acknowledge it, we can't effectively develop non-harmful means of expressing it. if we assume that it's all socialization, we'll spend our time 'fixing' the wrong problem.

She also engages in hyperbole (I hope) or ignorance (perhaps) or just plain lying (I hope not). The melting of the polar ice caps might release all that sequestered methane, but there's no current model I'm aware of that has the Earth looking like Venus. She also still seems to think that petroleum is from dinosaurs; yeah, we were taught that, but now we know it's probably not true - why doesn't she? There were quite a few 'facts' of this sort.

That said, when I've researched other claims, I find much important information. For instance, despite the epidemiological studies' claims, when scientists engage in causal studies comparing diets rich in animal fats vs low-fat diets, the low-carb diets usually win. I know weight loss results have been mixed, but health studies (like a recent study that compared low carb vs low fat for treatment of metabolic syndrome) the low-carb diet had profoundly better outcomes.

I was surprised to discover that grains do, indeed, contain opioids, and in quantities sufficient to cause some people to have issues with them specifically. Interesting stuff.

I don't know that I accept her assertion that the only answer is a return to some hunter-gatherer luddite pseudo paradise, but I think she makes good arguments for population control, re-factoring of the "food pyramid", and an effort to approach some form of long-term sustainable living.
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- J. S. White

You know where the author stands on what to eat

What did you like best about The Vegetarian Myth? What did you like least?

The best thing about this book is the author is clear on what she believes. The least is that it is repetitive, and too sweeping in its generalizations.


What other book might you compare The Vegetarian Myth to and why?

Other non-scientific books on the ethics and health of what you eat.


Have you listened to any of Joyce Bean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not.


Do you think The Vegetarian Myth needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

This book needs a counter argument since the author not only criticizes vegetarians, but also takes a hammer to agriculture, modern society in general, and the cause of heart problems.


Any additional comments?

The book was written by a former vegan, and she pulls no punches in condemning the practice on health and practical terms. She recognizes the sincere intent of vegans, just thinks them misguided and ill informed. But if you read the whole book, her attack does not stop with vegans.

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- cshapiro

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-25-2012
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio