What I’m reading: The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability
My friend Ellie, who blogs at Minding The Middle Aged Middle, suggested I read The Vegetarian Myth. It’s turned out to be one of those books I wish I hadn’t read but I’m glad I did. It’s distressing, to say the least.
First of all, I’m not clear on why author, Lierre Keith, targets vegetarians in this book, because what she’s really railing against is agriculture, particularly the way we practice it today. Sure she challenges the idea that a vegetarian diet is good for the planet, and when you look at the statistics beyond just acreage used I suspect she’s right.
For example, in Damaging the Earth to Feed Its People, a post in the New York Times’ Green Blog, the author states: “… agriculture itself is one of the earth’s greatest environmental threats” and proceeds to back it up. It’s far from a pretty picture, even with some hope provided by conservation agriculture.
Lierre Keith makes it clear in her book that she doesn’t believe we can work our way out of the current planetary crisis through technology alone. She believes that waiting on tech is just a form of denial, and she may be right. I know I’m tempted to go to bed and eat cookies when I think of th destruction. I’ll also admit that since I don’t know what to do I find myself hoping that someone will show up with something magical, like zero point energy that will power everything, or Buckminster Fuller’s wonderful world around energy grid powered in part by the earth’s rotation in relation to the sun.
When I’m fortunate enough to remember that grid or other solutions that people talk about I realize that technology will be part of the solution if we’re to really survive what we think is happening with climate change. (Yes, I know there are those who are convinced it isn’t happening – I don’t know why.)
She’s really advocating a whole bunch of stuff that won’t happen, like most of us learning to grow our own food – at least not in our present circumstances.
It’s too easy, however, to say what won’t work or what won’t happen.
There are people working effectively for change. For example, do you know about GINI? They are doing interesting work with networks and energy and they are not alone.
What I believe it that it will be some combination of technology and a new dream, a new way of seeing ourselves and our society. That’s one reason I love Awakening The Dreamer. As we learn to focus on what we want and what we know how to do differently, I strongly suspect we’ll find the solutions, to food, to energy, and even to discovering a world that works for everyone. I’m also convinced we will be surprised!
How do you see the future?
Love and blessings,
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