How to have a sane reaction to an insane world

I called my Dad this afternoon. It was late on the East Coast, but he was just getting off work. He mentioned that he’d finally gotten around to reading my blog, and then admitted that after reading it he went out and ate a cheeseburger. I wasn’t surprised; I don’t expect a couple of impassioned paragraphs to reverse fifty years of ingrained habit – although I’d like them to.

They eat what?!? Mad Cows and Rotten Snickers

A few years before I became a vegetarian, I had a glimpse into the reality of factory farmed meat that made me pause and rethink my habits. It was an assignment for a class I’ve since forgotten; I was tired and skimming through the photocopied handout when a phrase jumped out at me. At the end of a list of additives to livestock feed, the article mentioned waste from candy factories, including “rotten Snickers".

Locavorism: Elitist food snobbery or practical solution to global warming?

Locavorism, for those who haven't heard the term, describes the practice of buying food grown within a 100 mile radius of where one lives, in an effort to cut back on one's carbon footprint. Once upon a time, access to imported, specialty items was reserved for the rich or well-connected connoisseur. Now, however, the committed locavore has to go far out of his or her way to forage enough food from their local region to survive. This is especially true in Hawaii, where most of our food is shipped over thousands of miles.

Jonathan Safran Foer wants you to eat a dog

In the second chapter of Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer tells the reader to eat dogs. His reasons are myriad: many cultures around the world have eaten them, and not a few still do. Millions of dogs are euthanized yearly in the United States, and their disposal is an economic and ecological problem. Dog meat is said to be tasty, and the surplus of dogs creates a cheap and easy food supply.

What's wrong with eating animals?

This is the first in a series of weekly posts dedicated to our book club selections. Tune in every Tuesday to discuss the pressing issues raised by these authoritative and popular authors. Whether you have the time to read along with me or not, I'd love to hear your two cents. To pick up your copy of "Eating Animals" at amazon.com, follow the link at the end of the post.

Announcing Down to Earth's New Vegetarian Bookclub!

Hi everybody! This post is the start of an ongoing review of books about vegetarianism, animal rights and ecology. I’ll choose one book and post about it as I read – keeping a slow pace so we can really get at the heart of the issues raised. These books can be supportive or critical of vegetarianism, classics in the field or new revelations, scientific analysis or personal experience. I am eager to hear your suggestions, and I hope you will read along with me, and add your thoughts to the conversation.

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