125 of 133 people found the following review helpful
The Places We Hide From,
This review is from: Eating Animals (Hardcover)
I think this is an amazing book - it's heartfelt, honest, isn't afraid to enter some uncomfortable places and asks a lot of necessary questions. It also gives voice to those on both sides of the fence, as it were.
As for the criticisms from some folk on this page, I work for a vegetarian campaign group so know that there aren't as many differences between US and UK/European farming methods as some critics would like to think. For example, the sow farrowing crate is still in use in the UK - it causes immense suffering to these highly intelligent and sensitive animals but is allegedly slightly more humane than the US gestation crate - a couple of inches perhaps? (Thankfully it is destined to be phased out after a lot of campaigning). But most animal abuse is not being phased out. There is also a lot of nonsense talked about organic and free-range meat, frankly. Recent and verified undercover footage by the UK's Animal Aid has exposed appalling cruelty to animals - in Soil Association approved slaughterhouses, not only the usual suspects. So much so that there is a call to put CCTV in abbatoirs to try and stop the abuse. If we are honest and go beyond our comfort/self-interest zone, I think many of us know that animals go through hell. RSPCA Freedom Foods, for example is another scam - the abuses within many of their approved 'farms' have to be seen to be believed. If you don't believe me, check Viva!'s undercover footage. Basically, farmers aren't monsters, but they are human and under pressure from supermarkets and the like to deliver cheap meat, eggs, milk and so forth. It's always the animals who suffer. That's the bottom line. It's a brutal business and it all too frequently brutalises those who work in it. Even the more ethical M&S, Waitrose and such cannot be guaranteed. What do people th ink happens to a worker's head when s/he kills or 'processes' animals day after day? Massive brutalisation and desensitisation, that's waht. Frankly, unless you actually sit by an animal while it is being killed, its quick and painless death cannot be guaranteed. It's time to stop kidding ourselves. Our diet contains suffering and death. It also contributes to world starvation, water depletion on a terrifying scale, ditto deforestation, fresh and sea pollution, desertification - and of course, CO2 emissions on an unparalleled level. It also contributes to the massive rise in heart disease, most cancers, diabetes type 2, obesity and all of the delights of the Western diet.
I'm a vegan of 10 years so perhaps it's obvious why I'd give this book 5 stars. However, I was also vegetarian for 15 years, went back to eating meat (for fairly spurious reasons) before finally going vegan. In other words, I understand the places in the human heart that resist confronting the reality of what we eat. I also come from a Northern UK (Scottish and Yorkshire) family - basically, I grew up on lard! - so my changed eating patterns caused all sorts of reactions amongst family and friends. Another vegetarian writer, Carol J Adams, said that without even meaning to, the very presence of a veg*n at the table draws attention to who is on our plate.
I'm now a vegan cook - I teach, write about and cook great vegan food. It's really not about 'giving up' and things have changed amazingly since the 70s and 80s, believe me. Don't be afraid to try to reduce or omit animal products from your diet. You'll feel and look better, and can eat with a clear conscience.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Apr 2011 22:03:17 BDT
Thank you Jane for your passion.
Posted on 11 Jul 2011 01:12:32 BDT
Ms. G. Hill says:
Brilliant!!! I am a 30 year old vegetarian and have been since i was 13 years old. I am also trying hard, and it is hard, to go vegan. It's so refreshing for someone to discuss vegetarianism in a way that isn't denigrating to people who eat meat, even though I appreciate sometimes why veggies give meat-eaters a hard time as after all i have myself had years of questions about why i don't eat meat and put downs about my choice of diet and it is irritating to have to explain for the umpteenth time that animals to me are equal, i wouldn't kill another human and so i wouldn't wish to be responsible for the death of an animal either. This book sounds like it may hold some good answers in the "argument" for vegetarianism, if only people would open their minds enough to even consider the implications for the animals and the reasons for a diet not containing their flesh. Thankyou!!
Posted on 11 Oct 2011 11:30:15 BDT
M Perry says:
My comment is on your review, rather than the book. I agree that we have to take responsibility for what we eat and, as a meat eater (after 15 years as a vegetarian), I am always mindful of the sources of the animal products I'm consuming, and I applaud your passion for your cause. For what it's worth I think the problems that you list as bi-products of meat consumption are actually problems of unsustainable population levels. You make some unsubstantiated claims about the personal health impacts of meat eating (cancer, diabetes, obesity) that are simply NOT born out by our biology. We all find our own way, personally I feel and look much better for eating meat and "giving up" all forms of grain....
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Oct 2011 23:20:58 BDT
chris scott says:
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2011 09:40:28 BDT
T. Millar says:
Check out page 304 of the hard back edition of 'Eating Animals' for references to medical journals that substantiate Jane Easton's claims about the personal health impacts of meat eating. I'd recommend reading the book it's really good.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2012 21:18:44 BDT
D. Bowen says:
Chris, our ancestors died at around 45 if they were lucky, this was considered very old. I am a vegan Firefighter and triathlete. Previous to this I was a sluggish-tired-all-the-time meat eater...but that's just my anecdote!
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Sep 2012 12:49:39 BDT
chris scott says:
Yes our ancestors lived shorter lives than us, i think it may be more to do with, predators, infection, accidents..etc than what we were eating. Next time you are out consciously look the people around you, most 45 year olds aren't exactly a picture of health, it's like the walking dead. I think lack of predators, infection control & being kept alive by operations/medication is the main reasons behind our living longer. There are plenty of meat eating populations out there who enjoy greater health & longevity than the U.K. You are obviously a very fit person & take your health very seriously, although i personally wouldn't put my body through the strain of triathlons i applaud you for your lifestyle & what you stand for.
In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2013 11:04:49 BDT
You sound like one of the guys from forks over knives! They are vegan firefighters, it's not you is it?
In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2013 11:28:11 BDT
Jane Easton says:
No, I'm a vegan chef/food person and writer/cooker demonstrator who works for a UK vegan campaign group to help people govegan. But I've met T Colin Campbell and am a great admirerer of his and Esselstyn's work.
Posted on 8 Aug 2013 23:57:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Aug 2013 00:00:32 BDT
i think your sweeping generalisation that meat leads to cancer/diabetes/heart disease is a bit much - there is zero evidence to support this. the studies that there are say high cholesterol and obesity leads to these diseases, but you can get just as fat on a vegetarian or vegan diet - i know plenty of fat vegans! nuts are loaded with fat, and a lot of soy products are loaded with sugar, so very easy to eat more calories than you burn. get your facts right before making these type of misleading statements please. and before you go on about processed meats - yes, i would stay away from these too if and only if there are nitrites and nitrates in the product. its not that hard to check, just look at the label. yes, the preservative free ones are more expensive, but so are most veg-targeted products at the supermarket anyway!