Monday, March 30, 2009

Animal, Vegetable, Mistake...I Mean Miracle.

Will someone tell bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver that the fats in dairy products are not healthy fats?! My God, okay, so yes, it's a good thing to buy local food. Yes, it's a great thing to grow your own food. But, because chickens and lambs live close by does that mean you have to eat them? And since cows are neighbors you have to make cheese and eat dairy products even when you are lactose intolerant like half the country? But, please! Do not eat any bananas from Guatemala or avocados from Mexico because of their carbon footprint. Lady, you have your priorities wrong.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (a year unless you are one of the chickens and turkeys that are going to get eaten) is Kingsolver's latest book. She is a wonderful writer and at times is inspiring. I can't wait to turn over the soil in my garden. I want to grow more of my own food after listening to her and will support my local farmers market more deliberately. But I will not stop eating pineapple and goji berries in the winter.

Barabara, if you really want to make the world a better place, and I think you do, forget about extolling the necessity of being "locavores" (one who eats mostly locally grown food) and write about the ethics of eating animals, about considering people in other countries ( buy local and help your local farmer send his kids to college, buy from Latin America and help farmers feed their kids).

Kingsolver writes about living on food that her family grows or is grown locally. When you live on a hundred acres, as she does, it is a little easier than for us urban dwellers. In order to be a locavor the family eats little fruit and leafy green vegetables in the winter. But, but they can freeze plenty of meat from their turkeys and chickens. In order to live more environmentally friendly they eat more animals and less fruit. They eat more cheese, probably the worse food product on the planet, and less lettuce.

While I'm on the topic let me say this to everyone who feels no guilt in eating animals as long as those animals have lived good lives on free ranging farms and such. First of all, only a small percentage of the earth's people can eat like that, most people couldn't afford what you can. Secondly, what does it matter if you have a good life and someone comes along when you are 20 and says, "okay, now, time to die so we can eat you. I hope you appreciate that you've had a good life up to now."

Whatever. There are so many arguments for not eating animals, from the ethics of it, to the huge consumption of fossil fuels, to the major health issues. Why would someone who seems to be writing to improve the planet end up promoting such...shit?


Michael Ryan said...

Provocative, but USCENTRIC in that it assumes one has the resources TO CHOOSE what to eat. I suspect most of the world doesn't have a choice and will eat what ever they can get.

Joyce Holsten said...

Awesome post! I couldn't agree more with you!

Joyce Holsten
Raw vegan foodie