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About the Author

Includes the name: Lierre Kieth

Image credit: Lierre Keith

Works by Lierre Keith

Associated Works

Sinister Wisdom 46: Dyke Lives (1992) — Contributor — 10 copies


Common Knowledge

20th Century
Short biography
Lierre Keith is a writer, a farmer, and a feminist activist. She is the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability, and the novels Conditions of War and Skyler Gabriel. She splits her time between Northampton, Massachusetts and Humboldt, California.



Book is tainted with neo-feminist Marxist dribble with a lot of environmental hand wringing thrown in for good measure. At least Keith recognizes that vegetarianism isn't going to save the world but what she doesn't recognize is that the world doesn't need saved. Only someone who has arrogated their ego to the Savior Complex would believe that. Also, ever notice how people with dogmatic opinions about how food should be produced live in big cities and know little about agronomy? Keith is no exception.… (more)
1 vote
Chickenman | 18 other reviews | Sep 18, 2021 |
This is an intensely frustrating book. I just concluded my 2nd attempt to get through it.

Let me say that I am passionately in agreement with the authors' contentions. I just think this book shoots itself in the foot.

The first time I tried reading it, I put it down because I was starting to feel hectored/harangued. The general tenor of my reaction was "look, I agree with you, I'm a member of the choir, why are you shouting at me?" And so based on that experience, my capsule review would have said the main problem with the book was one of tone.

But it has worse problems. I got through more of the book this time, but reached a point where I was thinking "okay -- there've been 150+ pages about why this or that approach is misguided or is not enough. I'm gonna make it to the next section and hope against hope there is some sort of specific instruction regarding what DOES work." And then I got to the next chapter, "Other Plans" ("'other' plans?" I thought -- "you haven't presented ANY plans yet"), and on page 195 author Keith started in on another list of three approaches that don't work. I put the book down.

The writing here is passionate and, in a surface sense, "good." There is not much wrong with it qua writing -- and I certainly nodded along vigorously, although I think I was told six times that 200 species died today (PLEASE don't take this as my saying that that fact is not catastrophic -- it is). But FFS, DGR friends, you can't just tell me that "we have to stop using fossil fuels NOW" without providing concrete HOWTOs for the kind of resistance you're envisioning. Yes, okay, "classical liberalism" is too personality-based ... but you keep telling us what DOESN'T work and haven't told us what DOES. Surely in the first 200 pages there should have been some hint. Maybe I missed it.

I hate to single out author Lierre Keith for the blame, here, but the bulk of those 195 pages are hers. It's shitty of me to say, but how many species died while I was trying to get to the part of this book that recommends specific actions?
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tungsten_peerts | 6 other reviews | Feb 23, 2021 |
The author outlines the ridiculousness of the Vegan and Vegetarian mythos and digs into political, social, moral, nutritional, and most importantly, the sustainable aspects of eating... and ultimately our footprint, as a species, on planet Earth.

For this reader there was no huge revelations, since I'm well versed in the realities of agriculture and food at this point, and spend a great deal of time immersed in the natural and agricultural world, but the author nicely packages a fairly comprehensive discussion of the topic into this volume. There is a disturbing element to having all this laid out in one volume though: As you read it, it really underscores the pervasiveness of a community of folks that live their lives entirely divorced from the realities of the natural world and the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. I don't want to sound overly harsh, but it is a bit unavoidable. These are folks that look at nature from inside a bubble... through a pane of glass. Never really understanding it. Some is their fault, but it is a societal disorder, long in coming considering urbanization and how housebound most people in the 1st world are today.

The other disturbing element to the story as outlined by the author, is that though we know what we need to do to address the deeper ecological realities of massive over-population on this planet I personally am not confident that we'll take the necessary steps, and I don't think the author is either.

And that is where the biggest surprise of the book was found. The author was not afraid to summarize the corrective course of action that we would have to take as humans to make things better. Finally someone is bold enough, in a relatively mainstream book, to state that in order to ever have a sustainable, ecological, and ethical food system (or any system)... over-population really needs to be addressed. Severely. It will solve itself eventually, but it can either be messy and violent, or orderly and peaceful. Not many authors writing a mainstream book are bold enough to state it so plainly.

4 stars: There are three issues I had with the book: (1) The author slips into "appeal to emotion" a bit much, (2) It's hard to weed out the good science from the bad or mediocre, and (3) There is no index... which means you have to take notes, write in the margins, and highlight, or just have a really good memory. ;) Geez. Books like this *have* to have an index. I blame her editors. What a disappointment.

Great book. Folks, if you are confused as to why the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle is unsustainable, unnatural, relatively unhealthy, un-ecological, and ultimately more than a bit silly (but with non-silly implications)... this is a great book to to read. Even more importantly, it is a great discussion about environmentalism, food security, and agricultural sustainability, and of course, overpopulation -- topics that I am particularly passionate about, even more so than the main topic of the book.

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ErrantRuminant | 18 other reviews | Mar 13, 2020 |
This is the third Derrick Jensen book I've decided to inflict on myself, but probably not the last. They each start with great promise and by the end descend to infuriating illogical leaps, and this one was no different (it is the promise of each that lures me into trying again). However, the presence of two co-authors aided in readability.

Deep Green Resistance aims to motivate the formation of an underground army to carry out something they call Decisive Ecological Warfare. This is not a joke. Through reading guerrilla and resistance books and manuals from many historical periods, they put together a strategy for identifying the goal (destroy industrial civilization), developing a strategy, and identifying tactics (blowing things up, mostly). They helpfully include suggestions on things like minimizing security leaks and performing background checks on new recruits (again, not a joke). I can't speak to the practicality of any of this, never having run nor even participated in underground armies, but I can say that as I have no immediate nor long-term plans to assassinate anyone, I skipped that section altogether.

However, what the authors overlook in their very thorough review of global resistance movements past and present, is that this is not Nazi Germany, nor is it the Niger delta. That is: the very fact that they were able to write and publish this book through a mainstream publishing house, and that it is sold at large national bookstore chains, would seem to indicate that we live in a society where people have enough personal freedom that the extreme solutions they advocate are possibly not necessary, and almost certainly something most of us are not yet desperate enough to entertain. This is as kindly as I can put it. This would all point towards a 1/5 rating.

Also frustrating: the section on horizontal hostility (aka "infighting," where sub movements critique each other rather than their actual targets), then followed by approximately 100 pages of attacks on other kinds of environmentalists, and why their kind of environmentalism is inadequate. I don't know why this is necessary. Surely, even if you don't think they're using their time well by building wind farms, using cloth shopping bags and making community gardens, this does not make them the enemy and you don't need to call them names.

What bumps it up at a 3/5 is the analysis, which is spot on in many respects, and what they call the "aboveground" movement and tactics. In other words, if you can't go around blowing stuff up because you have other responsibilities, here are some things you can do that might actually help move this culture in a sustainable direction. And that's useful and, as with all of Jensen's books, beautifully written. Their passion for the natural world is unquestionable and their assessment of our straits is bang-on. But taking potshots at other environmentalists is totally unnecessary, their assessments of the other environmentalists' positions is inaccurate and unkind, and the comparison of industrial capitalism with nazi germany/nigeria renders much of their analysis and suggested solutions unuseable. I mean, for crying out loud, here I am, under my own name, writing a review of a book advocating the destruction of infrastructure and the assassination of capitalists, said book bought at Chapters, review published on a public website, and I have every expectation not to be arrested for it. Doesn't that say something?
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andrea_mcd | 6 other reviews | Mar 10, 2020 |


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