I just finished reading Lierre Keith’s “The Vegetarian Myth” and I have to wholeheartedly recommend it as required reading for all humans. I don’t care what you eat — go out and buy this book!
Yes, Keith’s stated premise is to tear down the mythic pillars upon which the vegetarian philosophy is built and expose it as an unnatural and dangerously unhealthy lifestyle which is complicit with Big Agriculture in the ongoing destruction of the Earth. Towards this goal she succeeds with a brutal efficiency.
However, despite the name the book is not really about vegetarianism. This book is a deeply spiritual and scientific exploration of how life on Earth works. It demonstrates how agriculture is a dead end; a project that has been depleting the resources of the planet faster than they can be renewed for ten thousand years. Keith lays out the bare naked truth that at least three fourths of all humans on the planet are only here because we are turning fossil fuels into fertilizer into food, and those fossil fuels *will* run out eventually.
Keith at times employs a tone which is likely to turn off many. Vegetarianism certainly takes the brunt of her polemic, but she also argues for Paganism / Animism over Monotheism, Radicalism over Liberalism, Feminism over Patriarchy, and Egalitarianism over Elitism. In many ways the book is a political, religious, and social manifesto which will leave many feeling a bit uneasy.
Nevertheless I can guarantee that this book will compel and challenge you to re-think how you perceive the way life works on this planet and how the concept of food fits within. You may very well end up not entirely persuaded by her recommendations, but you will be changed.