Page six is essentially just the story of Keith growing up. It’s meant to make you empathize with her, but I’m finding it hard because it’s so insulting: she’s clearly setting up her younger, supposedly less intelligent and less enlightened self to be the stand-in for all vegans. And it’s not an accurate picture of the vegans I know, but it is representative of a very two-dimensional worldview. I keep wondering if she’s going to change that.
She asserts that vegans have no real understanding of nature and life again, writing,
With no understanding of the nature of agriculture, the nature of nature, or ultimately the nature of life, I had no way to know that however honorable their impulses, their prescription was a dead end into the same destruction I burned to stop.
Condescension, condescension, condescension. Who needs an actual grasp of what vegans are like when you can just portray them all as ignorant, naive little fools? This is clearly much easier, and obviously it hits its target with carnists; they do so much want to keep believing that veganism isn’t an option.
Those impulses and ignorances are inherent to the vegetarian myth.
No. Sorry. Those impulses and ignorances are inherent to Lierre Keith, and no amount of projection will make this less true.
I’ll summarize this next point: Keith writes about how she compulsively read vegan message boards for two years after she started eating meat again, which is something I’ve known to be true for recovering anorectics and bulimics as well, and she picks out one particular post. Anonymous, of course—she doesn’t name the poster or the message board, she just says, “a vegan.”
Apparently he said—whether as a joke or seriously, we’ll never be able to tell, because Keith doesn’t actually cite anything—that they should build a fence down the middle of the Serengeti with predators on one side and prey on the other so that the predators wouldn’t kill them.
She says everyone agreed with him. I’m seriously doubtful; we have no way to prove what she asserts one way or the other, and Keith might as well be lying out her ass or completely misunderstanding. She hasn’t shown a decent grasp of vegan opinion thus far. She actually believes, as said in her interviews, that all vegans eat beef once a week.
Sorry, we are having technical difficulties with this paragraph at the moment. The sarcasm-o-meter has broken; we hope to have it repaired right away. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Lions and hyenas and humans don’t have a ruminant’s digestive system. Literally from our teeth to our rectums we are designed for meat. We have no mechanism to digest cellulose.
The lesson here is obvious, though it is profound enough to inspire a religion…
Holy exploding sweet potatoes, what is with Keith and religious symbolism? We get it! You take this on faith! Now can you please stop going on and on about just how much like blind religion carnism is? We know that already!
… we need to be eaten as much as we need to eat.
That’s very nice, but the only suggestion Keith has given us so far is entirely one-way, where we’re the eaters instead of the eaten. No matter how you might dress it up, Salatin and the “activist-farmers” are still farming. It is wholly a one-way trade, despite what Keith claims: the animals have no ability to fight back or flee—the power and control are entirely on the humans’ side. This is incongruous with the vision of give-and-take she is presenting and in light of that, this too seems dishonest.
Until Keith actually says outright that she rejects agriculture in all its forms and supports a total return to a gatherer/hunter lifestyle, this is all pretense. Until then, she’s saying these things to make herself look “mature,” but the proof is in the pudding.
These are not one-way relationships, not arrangements of dominance and subordination. We aren’t exploiting each other by eating. We are only taking turns.
Ugh, I might as well have watched Sesame Street for the depth this book is presenting.
Addressed above. Also, fix’d:
These are not one-way relationships, not arrangements of dominance and subordination. We aren’t exploiting each other by eating. We are only taking turns. However, I don’t want to face any of the realities of natural predators, like starvation, being preyed upon myself, or eating only every other day like most large predators; therefore, while I use the pretense of nature, I am going to breed animals to be raised in a pasture, making sure they can’t escape or fight back, and then kill them. But you can’t tell me that’s an example of domination and subordination: I raised them! I feed them! I keep them safe! They’re my property, after all; if I provide for them and keep them safe, I have a right to their bodies! Just like husbands have every right to their wives’ bodies, and parents every right to their kids’!
Alright, enough of this tomfoolery. Keith goes on a bit more about death and how death is everywhere and omifuckingawd death—geesh, chica, put down the black nail polish and eyeliner—and insults vegans again with the whole “adult knowledge” thing. The last line of page eight is, “Maybe in the end this book is an attempt to soothe that ache myself,” and inside my head I’m thinking a massage woulda been easier.
Definitely less irritating, too.