February 5th, 2012
I’m at a point where my vision of existence is evolving. I am leaving some foundational concepts but have yet to establish my new ones. Leaving behind my vegan, vegetarian practice beliefs was after all the beginning, and I’m still in the process. My ethics haven’t changed, I still believe in world peace, equality, liberty of choice, I’ve always been a romantic idealist, sometime verging on utopist. This hasn’t changed much, but the actual concrete science of it all makes me look otherwise. I became paleo/real food/unprocessed food because of recent nutritional science.
After the deconstruction of the China Study by Denise Minger, I was ready for Keith’s book : The vegetarian myth. This book is deeply shaking my foundations. Basically Paleo was saying that grain agriculture was a big mistake for our personal health, she goes further by showing how grain agriculture is basically destroying our planets ecosystem, and eventually the survival of our species. There is an urgency in her writing that turns many people off, along with political and feminism issues, but if you separate the emotional load and activist side of the book, I find the basic environmental information serious enough to be concerned. People on vegetarian diets are mostly choosing this for ethical reasons, against animal cruelty, factory farming and such, antibiotics and hormones. These were my reasons, along with preconceived ideas about a healthy nutrition. So her book is not about the ethics of vegetarians, but about the concrete consequences of doing mass agriculture. Being vegetarian is not only detrimental to the human body in the long run, consuming grains means growing grains/soy/corn which are emtpying top soil and rivers, which are not renewable ressources. Agriculture is destroying the environment, so vegetarians unknowingly are destroying the environement believing they are saving the planet on ethical ground. How messed up can this be! This is why her book and message is getting such violent reations in the VG community. Basically like an addict, how can something that makes you feel so good be so bad for you? How can having so good ethics about saving the planet and against cruelty can actually be destroying the planet? That’s the Myth part in her title.
Of course it’s not only the vegetarians who eat breads, corn and soy, the food pyramids are good examples, so VGs are not single handedly destroying the ecosystem. Her book is for people who walked in her shoes, recovering VGs, and VGs who don’t know better, like I used to be. Such a book, like Gary Taube’s book, should be written for everyone whatever their food choice, and with all the hard science. Her book is the first step, hopefully, as Loren Cordain or Atkins were years ago. And there is a solution, with yet another catch word, Locavore, meaning eat local produce. If you want to save the human species (the planet will do fine without us, no need to save it, that’s pure anthropomorphism), we have to stop agriculture, let the grass grow and let the animals graze. Concentrate on perrenial food with some annual crops, but always returning nurishment to the soil we deplete. This can be achieved by eating locally, but not from importing foods from other countries. The book explains the reasons behind this. Just from reading this introduction to the concept of locavore you can see that many of our current cities/societies/nations cannot continu to exist has they are today, which is why her book is so disturbing. It is not just another diet, it’s an awakened view of our present dilemna. As a species we have painted ourselves in an environmental/demographic corner for the last 10,000 years. How do we get out of it? Well we start by reading her book, and hopefully in the coming years more books with concrete science will come and be written down, and the awareness will grow.
As for myself, I know I am in the corner, and I have to figure out what to do, for my sake, for my daughters sake, and her childrens.
Bless you all!