“We are urban industrialists, and we don’t know the origins of our food. This includes vegetarians, despite their claims to the truth…
Certainly most people who consume factory-farmed meat have never asked why and how it died. But frankly, neither have most vegetarians.
The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems. The truth is also that life isn’t possible without death, that no matter what you eat, someone has to die to feed you…
How many rivers were dammed and drained, how many prairies plowed and forests pulled down, how much topsoil turned to dust and blown into ghosts? I want to know about all the species–not just the individuals, but the entire species–the chinook, the bison, the grasshopper sparrows, the grey wolves. And I want more than just the number dead and gone. I want them back.
Despite what you’ve been told, and despite the earnestness of the tellers, eating soybeans isn’t going to bring them back. Ninety-eight percent of the American prairie is gone, turned into a monocrop of annual grains. Plough cropping in Canada has destroyed 99 percent of the original humus. In fact, the disappearance of topsoil ‘rivals global warming as an environmental threat…’
We have to be willing to face the answer. What’s looming in the shadows of our ignorance and denial is a critique of civilization itself. The starting point may be what we eat, but the end is an entire way of life, a global arrangement of power, and no small measure of personal attachment to it.”
Starting a new book. The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. By Lierre Keith.