A paper and a new “vegetarian myth epic review”: check it out!

Some folks are doing amazing work deconstructing myths about humane and local meat agriculture, as well as Lierre Keith’s work. We love when our readers bring this stuff to our attention and jump at the opportunity to spread the word!

-Check out this really interesting academic essay, originally published in the Journal for Critical Animal Studies:  “Green” Eggs and Ham? The Myth of Sustainable Meat and the Danger of the Local ” by Vasile Stănescu. Good food for thought regarding the ecological and ethical problems many locavores and “humane” carnists tend to ignore.

-Also check out this blog by Savage Rabbit, who is doing a pretty awesome thing called “Vegetarian Myth Epic Review”, that’s similar to our blog here but gets to a lot of stuff/points we haven’t gotten to. I particularly appreciate this post on how Lierre Keith, by her own account in post-TVM interviews, was not actually a vegan.

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2 Responses to A paper and a new “vegetarian myth epic review”: check it out!

  1. In Keith’s defense, she may have been a vegan between meals.

    Thanks for the linkage. I’ve nicknamed the series “Keith’s Myth,” because it’s really pissed me off how little she actually knows about nature, all the while claiming that she knows so much more than those ignorant, naive vegans. (Ad hominem is also a large part of her argument… but when has an argument been made against veganism that didn’t have ad hominem as a large component?) She spends a good portion of her text “priming” her readers to dismiss out-of-hand vegans, too, with that kind of crap, also making them predisposed to agree with her so they’re not “childish” or “idealistic,” etc.

    That’s not even getting into the factual inaccuracies and, my most hated, deductive fallacies. Especially about nature. I am a primitivist; I was promised primitivism and anti-civ, dammit, but Keith isn’t either. She’s just carnist.

    One thing I’ve been trying to debunk is this idea she has where the microorganisms in soil “evolved” to need blood, bones and manure. Shit, yes. Blood and bones? Infuriatingly unfamiliar with the intense speed of corpse decomp in nature – and furthermore, it’s not so much “decomp” as it is scavenged. Bugs and other scavengers will basically disappear a rabbit corpse in three days; that’s just not enough time for the corpse to actually fade into the soil. The vast, vast, vast majority of topsoil isn’t animal material: it’s decomposed plant material, millions upon millions of years of it. There are not enough animals in the world to provide the amount of blood and bones she thinks is necessary for the world’s soil to function properly. It is simply physically impossible, even not considering the horde of scavengers that snap up a body like that.

    Forgive me for rambling. I’m less than impressed with her continuous omissions of contradictory information, and I can’t figure out if she’s doing it deliberately (lying) or if she’s just ignorant (half-assed). In her spiel about the soil needing blood and bones, she never mentions compost even once. And as someone who knows better than to be taken in by half-truths – and who takes pride in thoroughly debunking my opponents’ ACTUAL arguments – the lack of integrity Keith displays in these areas is seriously irritating.

    I’ve heard the book is well-researched. It’s not. Just FYI.

    • carolyn zaikowski says:

      I appreciate all your thoughts on the blood-bone-topsoil stuff. I hope you keep writing about it. One thing that’s really dangerous about Keith’s book– and her brand of “scholarship” (?) in general– is that she talks about really big, complicated issues in an authoritative way, and most of her readership knows as much or less than she does, and they take her as an authority. But she’s not an authority– she’s somebody who has an interest in a few issues and writes about them in a haphazard way.

      It’s scary when somebody claims authority on such huge, complicated issues based, essentially, on age and personal experience. Anybody who knows the basics of polemics/philosophical arguments and of research methods can see through all this right away. I fear many/most of her readers–well, and probably Lierre Keith herself– do not have a concept of how polemics and research work. I’m not trying to be a dick to people who don’t have these frameworks in mind, I just think it sucks that someone can write a book that’s so manipulative. And that all it takes is a little critical thinking and a trip to the library to get more information.

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