Vegetarian mythologies

Here’s a fascinating excerpt from a review on Marjorie Tietjen’s “Lyme Disease Sentinel blog” of Lierre Keith’s book “The Vegetarian Myth”:

Enduring controversy over vegetarian diets.

The author practiced a vegan lifestyle for approximately 20 years and she strongly feels that her health was destroyed by her total avoidance of all animal products. Her declining health and her aching desire to follow the ways of nature in a humane fashion motivated her to conduct further research and to write this groundbreaking book. She had tried desperately to be vegan and organic, hoping not to have to take life in order to preserve her own. However the more frantically she tried, the sicker she became and the more she realized that in order for something to live, it has to take the life of another….whether directly or indirectly. Keith softens this hard fact a bit by saying that we all take turns giving our life for the benefit of other life. While the reader might not agree with everything Keith has to say, this book is a compelling read and provides much food for thought for vegetarians, vegans and omnivores.

Keith classifies vegetarians into three basic groups: those who are vegetarians for moral reasons, those who chose to eat only plant material for political reasons and those who feel that a vegetarian diet is much healthier than the diet of an omnivore. The author devotes an entire chapter to each of these classifications. I found the whole book to be fascinating, thought provoking and paradigm shifting but I especially enjoyed the section on nutrition. In this chapter the author thoroughly deals with the cholesterol myth. She also looks at the human digestive system, how it functions and what foods it was apparently designed for. How carbohydrates are metabolized and the effect they have on our blood sugar and digestive ability….is also discussed. Keith warns about the dangers of soy and tells us more about the true historical role it has played in the Asian diet.

I have often puzzled over why we can’t find broccoli, tomatoes, string beans, etc, growing wild in our undeveloped woods and meadows. Where did they come from originally? How natural are they really? I’m still not sure I have the answers to those questions but Keith’s book definitely helped to give me more insight into this area of confusion….”

Read the whole review here.

Read chapter 1 of the book here on the author’s website.

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