Thursday, July 3, 2008
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life / Barbara Kingsolver -- NY: Harper Collins, 2007.
A few years ago, I read Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer. It was a joyful experience. So I was expecting that Animal, Vegetable, Miracle would be great. Unfortunately, I was not so pleased with it. Kingsolver's 'letters from a friend' style was peppered with turns of phrase that were a bit too clever for their own good. The theme, of course, is very interesting, but it was not as well developed as it is in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. However, together, Pollan and Kingsolver pursuaded me to choose local foods whenever possible and to purchase a subscription with a community supported agriculture farm. Changing our dietary habits is one of the few things that we can do to dramatically affect our ecological impact. What surprises me about both Pollan and Kingsolver is that they don't unambiguously advocate a vegetarian diet. Both seem to accept that we should reduce our meat consumption. These days, vegetarianism is an extremely easy lifestyle to maintain -- much easier than eating local foods. So the benefit for the sacrifice is far greater.