SO, WHY THIS BLOG, YOU ASK?
In the summer of 2010, we started this blog because we were concerned by what we consider to be an abundance of misinformation, sketchy research, emotional manipulation and bullying, and logical fallacy found in the book The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. The Vegetarian Myth is an anti-vegan polemic aimed at radicals and couched in the language of science, feminism, and radical ecology. In part a regurgitation of her guru Derrick Jensen’s ideas, it was published on Derrick Jensen’s own Flashpoint Press, complete with a front-cover blurb from Jensen himself claiming, “This book saved my life.”
What made Lierre Keith’s book infuriating enough for us to dedicate so many hours of our lives to its deconstruction is that (presumably) she’s not on the take from corporate marketers and capitalists we’re so used to analyzing. Rather, she purports to come from within our own movement: a self-described ecofeminist who nevertheless believes that other creatures actually appreciate her desire to violate their bodies owing to a connection she projects upon them. As frustrating as it has been at times to engage with such willfully obtuse writing, we feel like we’ve done a credible job of deconstructing much of the text. Our past posts will stand as a contribution to a growing knowledge base compiled by those who are skeptical of the ecological sustainability and ethical legitimacy of paleo-diets. Please see this post as a more detailed guide for Lierre Keith-specific critiques.
There comes a point with projects like this at which you either have to change topics or write a book. The Vegetarian Myth does not merit a rejoinder on that level, so we are expanding our scope. While still critiquing the paradigm that Keith is involved in, this blog now moves past her. We’ll expand our exploration of ideas regarding the myth of “humane” and sustainable animal agriculture, ecocide, ex-vegetarians and their discourse, sustainable vegan agriculture, and carnism in general– especially carnism that’s wrapped in radical or psuedo-radical language. Furthermore, we’ll be lending context to the status quo account of current affairs with the hope of enlivening our readers’ understandings of the ongoing relevance of radical veganism. We’ll be making connections between animal liberation, anti-capitalism, human rights, feminism, and other modes. We will also be soliciting essays and articles from outside contributors on their own personal stories of ethical living and ecological wisdom. And if Lierre Keith says anything that’s just too dumb to pass up, we’ll probably comment on it.
Food politics are more of a national conversation than ever now and that is a good thing. Even if they’re not sure what the answer should be, more and more people are trying to shake off the nightmare of agribusiness cartels, monocrops and CAFOs that have typified the last century’s food production systems. As radical vegans, we feel compelled to take part in this conversation on how to transition away from a manifestly unsustainable system. Specifically, we want the world to understand that environmentalism cannot be separated from animal rights, and that there’s no such thing as an “ethical” mode of food production that depends on the systematic murder, reproductive and sexual domination, castration and confinement of nonhuman animals.