Friday, 14 March 2008

I eat my veggies

After a full month of on and off reading, I've finally finished Will Tuttle's The World Peace Diet. I don't normally read books like this; in fact, I generally try to give them a wide berth. I'm vegan, have been for years, and don't feel I need any more convincing. I also don't want to read things like this so I can quote horrible facts at people; that's not my style at all. So, what normally happens if I do read books like this is that I discover some horrible new facts I didn't already know, cry a lot, and feel like gouging my eyes out.

Luckily, that happened less than usual with The World Peace Diet - although it did happen some, which in my mind is too much. Like I said, no convincing required here. In spite of some bad moments, though, this book really does stand out from others I've read in the "this is why you should go vegan" genre.

First, it was much more about the meaning food and eating have in our cultural than what goes into animal food production. Indeed, the philosophical discussion of food's cultural significance was really well explored and I found it truly enlightening. It was surprising in an "Of course! Why didn't I see that myself?" kind of way, which is cool. I think this background stuff would serve all those other pro-herbivorous books well for they perhaps don't address the social difficulties in being vegan as well as Tuttle does.

Second, this is the most hopeful book I've read in this genre. Tuttle lays out the difficulties and some of the horrors but yet manages to be entirely compassionate towards and hopeful about the world we live in instead of just showering damnation upon everything. This is a very refreshing approach for in my view, righteous anger is as damaging as any other kind of anger.

Finally, on a nerdy editor note: I didn't see one typo in this entire book - that never happens! Kudos to Tuttle's mad editing skills.

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